Sharing the stories of lived experience - Q&A with Graeme Holdsworth

Everymind has partnered with Roses and the Ocean and SANE Australia to amplify the voice of lived experience across its social media platforms on Friday, 10 September, for World Suicide Prevention Day.

About Graeme's lived experience

“Late in my working life, I lost my career, marriage, and nearly my life through a suicide attempt due to severe depression. But, since my recovery and the new insight of lived experience, I have dedicated myself to suicide prevention.”

What does the World Suicide Prevention Day theme 'Creating Hope Through Action' mean to you?

“The theme to me is about advocating for people with lived experience to be involved at all levels, including senior levels and board positions, within suicide prevention organisations.”

What is one thing you do to create hope in your life?

“Give hope, through my story, to people who are suffering or vulnerable, and that gives me hope that things will improve.”

What is one thing media professionals can do to create hope in how they report or present suicide?

“Discuss suicides more openly and don’t just use the Lifeline and Beyond Blue numbers to indicate a suicide.”

What is one thing that services can do to create hope for those needing support?

“Show empathy and compassion rather than just clinical advice. That is the best way to indicate hope of recovery.”

What is one thing that governments can do to create hope in their approach to suicide prevention?

“As Christine Morgan's report to the Prime Minister on suicide prevention said, ‘We have no option but to position lived experience knowledge at the forefront of research, policy and practice. Without this knowledge, our reforms and services improvements will fall short of what people need and what people deserve.’”

What is one thing the community could do to increase hope for those with a lived experience of suicide?

“Engage with people with lived experience and those suffering or vulnerable and replace judgment and stigma with empathy and understanding.”

What is one hope you have for the future?

“If we are ever going to get to the point of acceptance and inclusion, we still have a lot of work to do, and the voices from suicide attempt survivors is a large part of the answer.”

For more lived experience stories, messages and resources today, follow @EverymindAU on Facebook and Twitter.