Suicide strategy talks to Soroptimists

What takes twice as many lives as road accidents, and targets the same section of society?

Members of Soroptimist International Murray Bridge were surprised to learn at a recent meeting that the answer was suicide.

Standyby Response Service region coordinator Tracey Wanganeen, who spoke at a Soroptimist meeting, quoted the most recent figures from the Bureau of Statistics, showing Australian deaths on the road in 2014 was 1310, compared to 2864 for suicide.

A new word was learned by members not prevention, but postvention. 

Ms Wanganeen said most often there was no warning of suicide and the means of prevention were limited.

She said people can help those who remain to pick up the pieces of their lives.

Standby is a suicide bereavement response service offering free 24-hour support and assistance to those who are left to suffer the loss of a family member, neighbour, work or team-mate.

Ms Wanganeen reminded members that those who committed suicide were not usually crazy or selfish, but most often could see no other way of dealing with their situation.

They should be viewed with compassion rather that with criticism.  She said people may be uncomfortable in dealing with the survivors, but she said they would be grieving just the same as everyone who had lost a treasured family member or friend.

Some advice offered was to listen to family members; not to judge them or the one who has died; be prepared for a variety of reactions to suicide; to keep in touch on a regular basis; and to share good memories.

“Silent Ripples” is well established in Murray Bridge, and “Ride against Suicide 2016” will be starting out from a number of centres around the state to meet at the Adelaide Show grand parade on September 8.

Standby Response Services can be contacted at standby@unitingcommunities.org.

Soroptimist members were also excited by the launch of the Domestic Violence information booklet, and by the imminent opening of a wig library.

All is in order for the opening of Sue’s garden at Aldgate on Sunday, September 11 from 11am.  Details: simurraybridge@siswp.org

Thanks: Tracey Wanganeen receives her thank you gift from Soroptomist International Murray Bridge president Annette Korzeba.

Thanks: Tracey Wanganeen receives her thank you gift from Soroptomist International Murray Bridge president Annette Korzeba.