All humans develop beliefs, attitudes, practices and idiosyncrasies that are unique to them as an individual. They can be influenced in many ways such as experiences within our family, friends, peers, school and social settings. During study we usually also learn theories and approaches where we are called on to reflect on our beliefs and values, along with considering how we apply our learning in practice. When employed we are obliged to followed polices, industry standards, processes and implement professional practice.
When spending time with my family and socializing with friends I’ve heard comments related to suicide. In various employment roles, during study and discussions with colleagues I’ve also heard people verablise their beliefs and attitudes in relation to suicide. Sometimes I’m shocked at how negative they are, wonder where the attitude emanated from or why it is so strong, and am disappointed about their reluctance to intervene when they sense someone they are supporting is suicidal.
Some people’s beliefs and attitudes come from a place of understanding and caring, whereas others are misinformed or judgmental. And in some situations they are unfounded myths which could limit or prevent the person supporting or intervening when they sense someone is suicidal.
A recent survey conducted by Lifeline in Australia found that though 2/3 of the population understand about suicide. However about 1/3 of the population still believe and say things like suicide is ‘cowardly’, ‘irresponsible, and stupid. Would having these beliefs hinder how open they are to offering support or intervening when they sense someone is suicidal?
Every life lost by suicide is one too many. Whether it be an elderly person, a partner, a sibling or a child, the loss is unbearable to those who loved them, and will never have the opportunity to talk with them or caress them again. Having lost a sibling, best friend and colleagues through suicide I am only too aware of the raw emotions and reactions we experience each time we experience this type of loss.
Anyone who has lost someone to suicide questions why they did it. If they were not with them near the time they ended their life wish that whoever was, could have helped them not to take that lethal, everlasting action. They also wonder what, or who could have intervened along the way to move them to a different trajectory instead of dying. So I urge you all to think about your beliefs and attitudes and adapt if necessary so we can all do our bit in preventing tragic unnecessary loss of people’s lives.
This new resource can help. It’s cheap, easy to use and challenges people to consider their beliefs, attitudes and possible reluctance to act to help save someone. It’s ideal for pondering what informs your own practice as an individual or when facilitating group work with staff or volunteers. go to https://enhancesupervisionandtraining.thinkific.com to get a copy now and take up the challenge to prevent suicide!