Driving back from the states north west last Friday morning, sadly I heard the news that a man had died in a motor vehicle accident overnight.
Every life lost, no matter which way is a tragedy.
What caught my attention at the end of the story was that this death takes the states road toll to 3 for 2019. Again, that is 3 too many lives lost.
This prompted me to think about the suicide statistics for the state. Sadly, each year we lose around 3 times more people to suicide than we do on our roads.
Road safety awareness is paramount and necessary, and I hope we keep focusing on it and pounding resources into it because it is so important.
But to me something doesn’t add up, and I write this ONLY to continue doing what I do every day, and that’s showing everyone I meet that Suicide is an issue that we need to address in our community.
I’m not here to compare dollars into road safety versus dollars into mental health and suicide prevention. I’m purely looking at it from an awareness perspective.
Compared to mental health, the awareness to help break down stigma is incredibly uneven.
Organisations work tirelessly in work places, schools, communities, rural towns to educate people on this issue. Governments are meeting with people in the mental health space to work out how we combat it. But we need to do more visibly!
Why can’t we have billboards on the midland highway reminding people it’s ok to not be ok?
Are we doing enough to break down the stigma? Do enough people know that 1 in 5 will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime? Is everyone aware that anxiety in young girls is the highest it has ever been? Do enough people know that there is help out there?
This isn’t a whinge, because I know so many amazing people are working on it. It’s a call to action, and a reminder for people to please understand how common this is.
Was Johnny late to training when they’re usually early? Was Mary super early to work when usually she isn’t? Did your son or daughter not seem happy this morning? Was your husband or wife grumpy for no reason?
If you notice a change, then please act on it. You don’t have to have the answers, you just need to show you care. It can be that simple.