Free online support for family and friends of someone who has attempted suicide
Everymind has launched a free online program to help family and friends supporting someone who has attempted suicide.
Minds Together is a self-paced and interactive program that helps build the skills, knowledge and confidence to support family and friends, and look after yourself.
Family and friends play an important role in caring for the estimated 65,000 Australians who attempt suicide each year.
Care may be in the form of emotional, financial or practical support, and can often extend beyond the responsibilities of being a mum, dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncle or friend.
This support role is often fulfilling, but it can also be challenging and affect your own time, finances and emotions.
“Australians in this position may be feeling overwhelmed, worried or unsure of what they should say to their family member or friend. These feelings may have increased during recent events like COVID-19, natural disasters, financial stress or the holiday period,” says Everymind Program Manager and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Sally Fitzpatrick.
Minds Together features practical tips from suicide prevention experts to help family and friends talk about suicide, respond to stigma and navigate complicated feelings.
It also features the stories of Australians like Jess Wilcox, a supportive friend of people who have attempted suicide, who believes it’s essential to prioritise her own self-care.
“There is a time where you need to put yourself first, pausing for your own mental health so that it does not take a dive. You need to throw life’s anchor down, pace yourself and reflect on whether you are taking the right direction for a positive life balance. The Minds Together program plays a crucial role in assisting family and friends who are caring for someone that have attempted suicide, with one major focus being on “you” as the supporter,” explains Jess Wilcox.
Family and friends can take part in the research trial of the new online program by visiting mindstogether.org.au
This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health funded National Suicide Prevention Research Fund and is managed by Suicide Prevention Australia.