Mackay’s suicide crisis deepens, three men take own lives
MACKAY'S suicide crisis has deepened with three men believed to have taken their own lives in a week.
Two of them were in their 20s, the other in his 40s.
Last year 33 people died by suicide in Mackay.
Grapevine Group chairman Laurence Manning said there simply wasn't enough awareness about mental health issues.
"We all understand major health issues like slip, slop, slap and checking our skin for signs of skin cancer, but we don't know much about mental health problems and what to do," Mr Manning said.
"The blokey culture is certainly a big problem."
The young men had played rugby league.
Hayden Butler and Regan Grieve, who died by suicide in Mackay in January, were also rugby league players.
"Maybe in this case young men who play football are experiencing mental health problems and do not feel they can talk about it," Mr Manning said.
"I suppose this can be in any sport.
"There is a stigma associated with mental health and suicide."
He said all members of the community should be able to recognise someone who needed help and learn how they can do so.
Football clubs have taken steps to help their players reach out.
Since the deaths in January they have engaged in the SafeTALK campaign.
The suicide awareness program has been run by The Grapevine Group, The Daily Mercury and Lifeline for more than a year now and provides education for communities around the issue.
Mackay-QRL Northern Division recently attended a SafeTALK training and all local clubs would soon be trained.
The Daily Mercury spoke with family of the young men but they were too distraught to comment in the story.
Suicide prevention can be as simple as talking
SafeTALK not only encourages people to talk about mental health struggles, but provides suicide awareness training.
The issue has been taboo, but with one in seven people predicted to consider suicide each year, community awareness is vital.
The program puts people in touch with the warning signs and provides helpful resources.
It also addresses why invitations of help are overlooked.
Phone 4944 2300 to register for SafeTALK or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sponsor an awareness session.
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Headspace 1800 650 890
- Mackay Integrated Mental Health 4968 3893
- Beyondblue 1300 224 636
- Suicide call back service 1300 659 467
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