Sharing the stories of lived experience - Q&A with Julia

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 Julia's lived experience

“I have a lived experience of suicidal attempts and bereavement.”

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

“To me, ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ is developing alternatives to emergency departments for people in suicidal distress like Safe Havens.”

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

“Sharing my story and experience of suicide to the students has helped me create hope and show that it’s possible to have a life worth living.”

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

“Emphasis on the stories of those who have made an attempt and survived, and how they did this, instead of just the stories of people who died by suicide. Never report on suicide just to ‘fill a gap’ or get a reaction. Even for celebrity suicides, be careful about how the news is reported, what wording is used, and never make assumptions on circumstances. Be careful who is interviewed about suicide. Ensure they are knowledgeable on the topic and safe language.”

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

“Connect people with peer workers, in particular suicide prevention peer workers. Show that there is a life beyond suicide, and it’s worth staying around for.”

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

“Highlight what is working, trial new methods of suicide prevention like Safe Havens and ensure to always involve the voice of those with a lived experience before creating a new service.”

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

“Be open to talking about suicide, don’t shut it down or engage in spreading myths and misconceptions. Be friendly to those you meet around your community; you never know who just needs one person to give them a smile and ask how their day is going.”

What is one hope you have for the future?

“My hope is that the wonderful initiatives that already exist within suicide prevention, such as Beyond Blue’s The Way Back Support Service and Safe Spaces/Havens, can continue to operate and save lives.”

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