How to discuss suicide options and save lives

I have been thinking these thoughts for a while, yes suicide has plagued me for nearly a decade.

Inspired by David Jam on LinkedIn sharing statistics about suicide in Australia, I decided I would write this post based on a conversation and thoughts I had recently, around the stigma of talking about death and the process of seeking help.

In our current society, thinking about suicide, and worse, talking about it, will get you a quick trip to a hospital, without even attempting it depending on your risk level.

Due to my own mental health and trying to learn more to help myself, I have completed a couple of courses including Mental Health First Aid and becoming a Positive Mental Health Champion at work for my colleagues.

The recent discussion and thoughts I had was around suicide and changing the wording, put simply, if we stopped using the term suicide and started educating the idea that if you are feeling like taking your own life is your best solution for your issues, then you go to your GP and tell them you would like to be euthanised.

The point of doing this is that it starts that process of investigation with the GP, with psychologists or psychiatrists, to determine why you feel that way.

My suspicion is we will help far more people this way who don’t really want to die, they just want to end the suffering.

There are going to be cases where terminal illness, no family and other factors are going to result in a compassionate consideration for allowing it to happen. Though not until all avenues are attempted to give the person a reason to live.

This change in attitude and seeking action would have to start with changing the laws to allow euthanasia, I think.

Legality of assisted dying in Australia
Legality of assisted dying in Australia (red = illegal; blue = legal)

Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below and maybe there is something we can do to start this conversation for real or learn why this is not a good idea.

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