Talking to children

Caring for our children when we are thrown into grief ourselves is a big challenge. We turned to close family and friends and our wider community for help to care for our children when we could not. Some things helped us:

  • Keeping to routines as much as possible. For babies and small children especially, this gives them a sense of security through the upheaval. Some routines (bedtimes, meal times, going to school or usual activities) help all children feel more secure at times of stress. Our children need extra support and reassurance that they will be OK, and that we will look after them even when we are distressed. We asked trusted friends to help with this and to keep an eye out for our kids.
  • Young children (three years and up) need to be told simply and honestly what has happened. Tell them in a way they can understand. They will accept what’s happened and ask questions if they need to. We used photos and our children’s drawings and stories to talk about the person we’d lost and involve our children in saying goodbye.
  • Our older children will be grieving too. They may want to talk about their loss. They want to know they can do this and that someone will listen. They may want to spend more time with their friends. We learnt that it’s best to be honest and give them information so they are not left guessing about what’s happened. They often have ideas about how they’d like to be involved in planning the funeral and saying their goodbyes. This helped our children’s grieving and ours as well.
  • Our children sometimes express their grief through their play and some show their distress by wetting the bed or being more teary or sensitive than usual. We learnt that this is normal and it passes. When it doesn’t, it’s helpful to talk about this with a GP or health professional.
  • Some times our children may feel responsible and we needed to reassure them that what happened was not their fault. Sometimes we sought professional help for children when we felt concerned about them.
  • As parents, some of us felt fearful about our other children and needed to protect them, even over-protect them at times. We needed to learn to manage our own fear so it didn’t spread to our children and increase anxiety for them.
  • Schools, TAFEs and Universities can support children and young people when someone close has died. They provide student services including free counselling services.
  • We informed teachers and other key people and asked them to watch out for our children and young people following our loss. Teachers and school student services’ staff helped us with our concerns about social media and its impact on our young people.
  • Sports clubs and other social or community groups with which our children and young people are involved can also provide support and help maintain their usual routines at this time.

Read more on supporting children bereaved by suicide. Reachout has information for young people on loss and grief.

Talking about it

When someone takes their own life it can be hard to talk about. We may worry about other people’s reactions. The stigma and misunderstanding about suicide makes it more difficult for us.

We found that when we were able to speak about it, we felt better and not so alone. We told people who could really listen without judging us or what had happened. They could put their own needs aside for us.

If we had others who wanted to give us their advice, judgements or opinions at this difficult time we avoided them. We did not have the energy for them. Some of our friends drifted away, some came closer.

We found it helped us to talk to people who could listen and accept us as we were. Some of us had trouble speaking about our loss because we felt responsible or guilty. We wished we could have done more or somehow stopped this death from happening. We felt helpless and that we had let the person we loved down.

Even though it’s hard for some of us to talk about, others will appreciate the truth. Being honest helps our own grieving process.

Some people will not use the word ‘suicide’. For some, suicide is still seen as shameful. Attitudes to suicide are tied to our cultural and religious beliefs. For some of us, this makes it even more difficult to speak about.

Anniversaries and other special times

Birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions bring back our loss and are often a difficult time for us.
The first anniversary of the death is often tough. Some of our earlier signs of grief may return and if we do not know this is normal, we can feel overwhelmed by it.
We may want to talk about our loss at these times. Having a way to honour the person who has died helps us too.
Our family and our community’s rituals help us through this time. We will want to remember and honour the person we have lost.
Gathering with others, attending a ceremony or service, sharing a special meal, visiting the place of burial, remembering our loved one in whatever way we wish supports us.

Other people’s stories

Following our loss, many of us were approached by people who had also lost someone to suicide. We were not prepared for this and sometimes couldn’t give the support they wanted.
At other times we found comfort in sharing our stories and knowing we were not alone. Many people are touched by suicide but most will not speak about it unless they think others will understand.
We found it useful to have some information of where people could get help. We could provide this when we didn’t have the energy to hear their stories. The Getting Help section has these contacts.

Talking to others

Sharing our grief with family and friends helps us all. This time can bring us closer together. For some of us though, it can be stressful when others are also distressed.

Acknowledging our relationship with the person who has died and talking about it with others helps many of us. In some cultures this is not the case. For many Aboriginal people the name of the person who has died is not mentioned following their death.

This is a special time when stories and memories are shared. Lots of families find laughter and humour important. For some of us it can feel strange to share laughter when there is so much sadness and distress. Like tears, humour is another way to express our grief. For some of us it is an important relief.

Acknowledging others who have been close to the person who has died also helps. It’s best if someone they trust can break the news and in person. If we had to phone people, we warned them that we had some bad news and made sure they were not left alone.

Managers and workmates of the person who has died and with whom we work will want to know what’s happened. Some of us didn’t tell them ourselves but asked a trusted person and to let others know.

Other people will sometimes be distressed by the news. They may have had someone close to them take their own life. Suicide touches everyone. Telling others about what’s happened gives us a chance to talk about it. However, it can touch others’ experiences and pain.

Social media

Communicating with others via social media is very different to normal communication and has benefits and risks.

In the wake of the loss of a loved one, it can be a great stress to keep things together and maintain our relationships. Social media such as Facebook can provide a way for us to continue to communicate with others without the added pressure of responding immediately or face to face. Young people especially use social media to keep in touch and find out what is happening.

It provides a sense of connection that can be a very important support.
It can also provide a space for us to talk openly to people with shared experiences. All of our thoughts and feelings are valid, yet sometimes we feel we cannot share them with the people we know from our day-to-day lives. Social media opens up communities to us where we can talk openly and anonymously. There are many online groups available to those of us who are grieving.

However, social media can also create concern when our young people are vulnerable. Rumours, inappropriate messages or antisocial behaviour online may add to their anxiety and grief. We asked them about what was happening on social media and encouraged them to spend time with friends, not only online.

The school principal or psychologist can advise on any concerns we may have about social media and its risks following a suicide.

Online memorial pages

It is very common for young people to set up memorial pages for their loved ones. It is possible that friends have already created a memorial page on websites such as Facebook or Tumblr. We may find this comforting and want to contribute, in the short term or down the track.

The creators of these memorials are dealing with their grief as well. If there’s something on the page we don’t like, we need to be aware of this and respond with care. Again, we can ask for help to do this if we are not able do it ourselves. We can also ask for what we would appreciate seeing on these pages.

What doesn’t help

People keeping away. When friends and others did not contact us after our loss, we felt hurt and let down. We understood they were uncomfortable or not sure what to say, but we needed to know others would be there for us and some were not.

Other people’s reactions can sometimes be unhelpful, especially if they make judgements or give their opinions or advice. It does not help to hear comparisons, or be told that others are hurting or are worse off.

‘Move on’, ‘You’ll get over it’, ‘It’s God’s will’ and other such comments stop us expressing the pain we feel. We are not ‘breaking down’ or ‘falling apart’. Being upset is healthy, but others can find it uncomfortable, not knowing what to say or do.

When others are distressed by our tears it does not help us grieve. Tell them you need to cry. It’s healthy!

Numbing our pain by using alcohol or drugs delays our grieving. For many of us, this only creates other problems later. Grief is a natural and healthy response to loss and even though it hurts, it will ease if we allow ourselves to experience it.

If our loss is complicated by other traumas or experiences we’ve had (such as abuse or other losses) we can seek professional help to heal our grief.

Refusing to talk about the person we’ve lost or mention their name is not helpful. We needed to acknowledge what had happened, not deny it. While Aboriginal people do not use the name of the person who has died as a mark of respect, they can talk about the person without using their name.

Not having information about what’s happened meant we were left asking questions and left wondering and worrying. This stopped us moving on.

Endlessly searching for answers to why the death occurred. Information can help us understand and accept our loss but we may never find all the answers we would like. Some of us find this difficult to accept, while others of us find a way to feel at peace about the mystery. Speaking to people who have also lost someone to suicide in a support group helps us understand just how common it is to never get all our questions answered. Learning about the causes of suicide and some of the issues behind it helps some of us to find some of the possible answers. Rarely do we find them all.

Emergency services

Ambulance/Fire/Police – Phone: 000 for life threatening emergencies.

In an emergency you can also visit your local hospital emergency department.

Crisis support – 24 hours, 7 days a week

Suicide Call Back Service – Phone: 1300 659 467. A free nationwide telephone support service staffed by qualified people. Expert counsellors call you, at a time that suits you, and provide support through up to six 50 minute counselling sessions.

Lifeline: – Phone: 13 11 14

Crisis Care Helpline  – Phone: (08) 9223 1111 or Country Toll Free: 1800 199 008

beyondblue – Phone: 1300 224 636. All calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential.

Samaritans Crisis Line – Phone: (08) 9381 5555, Youth Line 9388 2500 or Country Toll Free 1800 198 313

Men’s Line Australia – Phone: 1300 78 99 78 for men of all ages

QLife  – Phone: 1800 184 527 for counselling services for people of diverse sex, genders and sexualities of all ages.

Veterans and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service – Phone: 1800 011 046

Support from people who understand suicide:

Coronial Counselling Service – Phone: (08) 9425 2900 or after hours: 0419 904 476.

ARBOR: Active Response Bereavement Outreach – Phone: (08) 9263 2150 (9am to 4:30pm, Mon -Fri) or email Provides recently bereaved (three months to one year), long-term bereaved, Men’s support, and Aboriginal Yarning support groups. All services are free, non-discriminatory, and confidential.

Compassionate Friends: – Phone: (08) 9486 8711 for support specifically for bereavement following the loss of a child.

Salvation Army Hope for Life suicide prevention and bereavement support. Counselling line: 1300 467 354.

Australia and New Zealand Parents of Suicide – Online support group specifically targeted towards bereaved parents, as well as family and friends.

For Young People:

Kids Helpline – Phone: 1800 551 800 for young people 5 -25 years
headspace – Phone: 1800 650 890
Reachout– online youth mental health service
Youthbeyondblue – Phone: 1300 224 636
Find out more about supporting young people bereaved by suicide
The Red Cross: Helping Children and Young People Cope

Other services

Coroner’s Court of WA – Phone: (08) 9425 2900 or 1800 671 994

The Public Trustee – Phone: 1300 746 212

Department of Human Services (Centrelink)  – Phone: 1300 131 060

Australian Funeral Directors’ Association

Funeral Assistance Line – Phone: 1800 854 925

Books, films and social media

A word of warning: There are many stories about death or suicide and its impacts that can be helpful. When we are grieving these can affect us deeply.

We were sensitive to what we read and watched in order to look after ourselves at this time. We were more cautious about what our children watched on TV through this time of grieving. Even the news can add to our distress when grief is raw.
Later, we found others’ stories comforting. They made us aware of how suicide touches everyone.

‘Nothing Prepared Me For This’
Written by Australians who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide.

Behind The Smile: A Hidden Battle Against Depression’
WA author Joshua Cunniffe’s recovery from depression and the loss of his grandfather.

Recovery down the track

As our grief eases, many of us wanted to do something to help others. We needed something positive to come from our loss.

What we’ve learnt can help make a difference to others.

Some ways we found to do that:

  • Join ARBOR, Lifeline, Samaritans and volunteer our time to support others
  • Share our experience with others when it feels OK to do so. This helps to shift the stigma about suicide and encourages others to share their experiences.
  • Learn about services available to help others and share this
  • Get involved in the communities our loved ones were involved with
  • Learn more about the issues behind suicide: why are our Aboriginal people at such risk? Why are young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex people at increased risk?
  • Attend training in mental health awareness and suicide prevention
  • Make a donation or bequest to support suicide prevention or another cause that’s important to us
  • Write a story or a book, make a video, draw or paint your experiences

Personal experiences

Our family has survived that darkest of times. We survived because we were loved and supported. We survived because our pain was heard and our loss acknowledged. No one tried to make it better. No one offered solutions or answers to those unanswerable questions we kept asking. No one told us they understood how we felt or that we would eventually get over it.
Friends and family would just sit with us each day and hold our hands and listen with their hearts as we wept silently and said nothing.

Somehow the chores got done, the dog got fed, the garden watered, the bills paid. I am not sure how or by who.

The space we were in, traumatised and grieving, was respected. Those around us may have been concerned, but they also believed we had the resources, the strength of character and the courage and resilience to survive.

They were right.

David, Kalamunda

My sister gave me a photo of us together, stuffing our faces with chocolate cake when we were young. We both look hideous but I love this photo now. 
It makes me smile every time I see it because it reminds me she was not always depressed and had a great sense of fun and joy. That’s who she really was. I don’t want her defined by her suicide.
Sue, South Fremantle

Seeing this bloke helped me feel stronger again. He didn’t say much really but I knew I wouldn’t shock him. Like when I was so mad at my daughter for what she did. He just sat there quietly. I couldn’t have told my wife. She was too cut up. Our daughter was our pride and joy. 
Colin, Bunbury

I thought I’d never recover when my husband took his life. But in time, and with support, I have. It’s changed me. I’ve become more understanding of others. I know there is often far more to a person than we ever really know.

Paula, Dianella

When people ask me how many children I have, I always tell them I lost my son. Otherwise it would feel as though I was denying he ever existed.

I felt abandoned by my friends at the church and the school when my son died. Nobody came near me or called. It made me question my faith. I thought they were Christians. I was hurt and disappointed. 
At some point you have to get to the place where you know: you’ll just never know why.

Helen, Swan View

I went to the place where my son was buried for 18 months, on my way home from work. It comforted me and made him feel close.

Phil, Subiaco

Although I’m young, other people often ask me for help. Now I know what to say, but earlier, I felt overwhelmed. Because I’d lost someone close to suicide, I was seen as someone who knew all about it. I didn’t, but I have learnt a lot now.


I lost my sister when I was 8. My parents’ overprotection then felt comforting. At 14, when my Dad died, it felt overwhelming and suffocating. I felt like shouting “Get out of my space!”

Luka, Stirling

If we are to really make a difference in reducing suicide and eliminating stigma we must work together and include those bereaved by suicide by listening with understanding and compassion, assist them in their time of need and learning from these experiences. No more must we close the door and leave well alone!


I have learnt many things since losing my son. I have learnt both how strong I am but also how vulnerable I can be. I have learnt that I am not alone in the world and that every breath, every heart beat and every footstep I take has been given to me. That I can choose what to do with these gifts is a powerful thing.

More than anything, I have learnt to always remember that Life is beautiful and wondrous and what makes it so is the love we have for each other.

Life is also sometimes very fragile. Don’t take it for granted, whether it is your own or someone else’s. It is far too precious.

David, Kalamunda

Aboriginal health programs

Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia
There are over 20 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across WA which provide primary healthcare of Aboriginal people. These are services by a health care professional when a patient first has contact with the health system.

Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service Inc.
An Aboriginal community controlled organisation which delivers various health services across Perth for Aboriginal people and communities. Staffed by health professionals, including Aboriginal Health Workers, the organisation also provides general health services, as well as drug and alcohol services.

Statewide Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service – Phone: (08) 9347 6600
Provides comprehensive treatment for Aboriginal people with a serious mental illness, with cultural integrity and a ‘whole of family’ approach. This service supports Aboriginal people to access mainstream mental health services, and helps services better meet the needs of Aboriginal people.


Named after a Kimberley greeting, i-Bobbly is an app developed by Black Dog Institute (in consultation with Alive and Kicking Goals!) designed to improve mental health and reduce suicidal thoughts. After a trial of 100 people over 18 years of age in the Kimberley region of WA, i-Bobbly is now to be exapanded to include around 500 people.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
An online resource aiming to make health information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people more accessible.

National Empowerment Project
Building Aboriginal communities’ capacity through empowerment and strengthening cultural, social and emotional wellbeing. It is an Australia-wide project led by the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia to address the high suicide rates experienced among Aboriginal communities. The project is innovative in that it combines traditional western approaches with culturally appropriate and locally responsive empowerment, healing and leadership responses devised in each community.

Red Dust Healing
A cultural healing program for Aboriginal men and their families. Workshops examine the intergenerational effects of colonisation on the mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing of Aboriginal families. It encourages individuals to confront and deal with the problems, hurt, and anger in their lives.

Alive and kicking goals!
A youth suicide prevention project based in the Kimberley. It aims to reduce the high suicide rate among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in and around Broome through peer education workshops, one-on-one mentoring, and counselling. The project is initiated, managed, and led by Aboriginal people.

Strong Spirit Strong Mind 
Promotes the uniqueness of Aboriginal culture as a central strength in guiding efforts to manage and reduce alcohol and other-drug related harm in Aboriginal communities.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention strategy

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention strategy aims to reduce the cause, prevalence and impact of suicide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, their families and communities. It encompasses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ holistic view of mental health, physical, cultural and spiritual health. There is an early intervention focus that works to build strong communities through more community-focused and integrated approaches to suicide prevention.

The six goals key goals are to:

  1. Reduce the incidence and impact of suicide and suicidal behaviour in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and in specific communities affected by suicide.
  2. Ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and populations are supported within available resources to respond to high levels of suicide and/or self-harming behaviour with effective prevention strategies.
  3. Implement effective activities that reduce the presence and impact of risk factors that contribute to suicide outcomes in the short, medium and long term and across the lifespan.
  4. Build the participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the workforce in fields related to suicide prevention, early intervention and social and emotional wellbeing through the provision of training, skills and professional qualifications at all levels.
  5. Build the evidence base to support effective action and to evaluate the outcomes of suicide prevention activity at local, regional and national levels.
  6. Make high quality resources, information and methods to support suicide prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples available across all contexts and circumstances.

The national strategy commits the government to genuinely engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop local, culturally appropriate strategies to identify and respond to those most at risk within our communities.

The strategy has been informed by extensive community consultation with 14 community meetings held across Australia attended by 446 people, a national expert workshop, and a website that received 48 contributions directly from the community.

The Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Commission will align WA activities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with the national strategy.

Supporting family and friends

  •  Refer someone in an urgent situation to a health professional or Suicide Call Back Service for 24 hour counselling and support
  • Listen when someone comes to you for help – it can be tempting to immediately reason through a person’s problems and suggest a quick solution, but first listen to what they have to say. It’s important that they know their feelings are valid.
  • Provide a safe environment. If someone you know is worried of what others might think, reassure them that what they say to you is in confidence.
  • Ask them how they are feeling or if they are feeling suicidal.
  • Inform them of how they can get further help you can’t provide. If someone has needs you can’t provide for, it’s important for them to get the right help. Know the number of a good GP or counsellor for them to talk to. If they’re too nervous to make the first step, offer to call for them and go with them to the appointment.
  • Recognise the signs that someone is struggling. A lot of young people are embarrassed to struggle with mental health and won’t always make it obvious that they aren’t feeling well. If you suspect someone is struggling with depression, let them know that if they need to talk you’re available and are a safe space.
  • Watch a person who is considering suicide. Someone who has said they are suicidal should never be left alone. Remove any available means of self-harm, and make an appointment to see a professional as soon as possible.
  • Find out more about mental health from Youthbeyondblue or reachout

Examples of local suicide prevention projects

Suicide prevention, mental health, and well-being were the key messages at community events organised by the Geraldton and Mullewa Local Drug Action Groups in Geraldton and Mullewa during Men’s Health Week. In Geraldton on 10 June, the film ‘Healing’ was screened at Queens Park Theatre. The film’s themes – hope and healing – gave audience members a great introduction for conversations following the screening. Former footballer Heath Black spoke to the audience prior to the screening and then travelled to Mullewa the  following day to train with the local football club and present at a community dinner. The funding also included two suicide prevention (ASIST) and youth mental health first aid trainings in Geraldton and Mullewa respectively. Both projects included the provision of relevant resources with the intention of delivering ongoing support and information.

Mad Men’s Muster – Friday, 29 August, 2014

The second annual Mad Men’s Muster was held in Beverley on Friday, 29 August, 2014, attracting around 80 men from across the Wheatbelt. Organisers the ‘Beverley Community Resource Centre’ hailed the event a great success, with plenty of positive feedback and a 25 per cent increase in attendees over the previous year. Featuring a live presentation from former ABC broadcaster Glenn Mitchell, a comedy act, giveaways, free lunch, and a presentation by Regional Men’s Health and the Pit Stop. The aim of the event is to build community awareness about suicide prevention, services and supports, as well as strengthen resilience in the community.

FIFO Expo Joondalup – 12 September, 2014

The Cities of Stirling, Joondalup, and Wanneroo hosted an expo for Fly-In, Fly-Out (FIFO) workers and their families at Joondalup’s HBF Arena on Friday, 12 September 2014. The event aimed to link FIFO workers and their families to services and organisations that can provide support, practical advice and the tools they need to achieve a well-balanced, supported and financially secure FIFO lifestyle. Stall holders included services from backgrounds in mental health, counselling, men’s health, parenting, local government, relationships, and financial management. Keynote speaker former ABC broadcaster Glenn Mitchell shared his story of struggling with a mental illness and his experiences of regularly working away from home. A selection of other speakers also presented on relationships, financial management, time, the impacts of the FIFO lifestyle on workers, and a panel discussion with a question and answer session.

Wangkatjunka camps for community members affected by suicide

Wangkatjunka community members affected by suicide will be provided with the opportunity to attend camps aimed at increasing community awareness of health and wellbeing. The camps will see four groups of Aboriginal people camp out under the stars for four nights. Organised by Kurungal Council Local Drug Action Group, the camps will help strengthen culture among participants by encouraging discussion on mental wellbeing and community connection. The camps will take place 80 kilometres from Wangkatjunka and will be divided into four groups of fifteen individuals, two of which will be for women and two of which will be for men. Following on from the camps, the organisers will continue to stay in touch with the participants and ensure that any issues raised are followed up and that support is provided.

Midwest tunes into suicide prevention

Not-for-profit organisation Health Communication Resources, in conjunction with the Shire of Carnarvon, organised three workshops for mental health, alcohol and drug service providers, and local community members in Carnarvon during October to decide what the key issues are in the Midwest region and work out what is needed to address them. The results then formed the basis of community service announcements to be broadcast across the Midwest. Radio MAMA is a broadcast partner for the project and donated close to $38,000 worth of air time for the announcements. The messages were broadcast at least five times per day on community and Aboriginal radio stations throughout the region.

Wild Women of the West – 27 October, 2014

Around 185 women from the Wheatbelt community attended a free one day annual seminar held on Monday, 27 October 2014. The event ,’Wild women of the West – diamonds in the rough’, featured guest speakers Adjunct Associate Professor  at the Centre for Forensic Science Judith Fordham, Australian soprano singer Sara McLiver, electric cabernet urban legend Tomas Ford, and Jennifer Atkins. The day provided organisers the ‘Beverley Community Resource Centre’ with the opportunity to spread the message about mental health issues, stress management, and preventative health measures.

Balga Detached Work Project – targeting young, at-risk Aboriginal men

The Balga Detached Work Project will run a series of workshops and activities relating to emotional and physical health, life and social skills, problem solving and help-seeking at the Cullacabardee Aboriginal Community north of Ballajura. The workshops will focus on building resilience, health and wellbeing among young people with diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health issues. Many of the young men in the target group are considered to be in a higher risk category for suicide due to their Aboriginality, tendency towards social isolation, homelessness, illiteracy, disengagement from education, juvenile offending, low self worth, identity loss and cultural disconnection. The project will build on a previous collaboration between Balga Detached Work Project and the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia where participants painted a nature-themed mural and has been demonstrated to help shift attitudes and behaviours in a positive way.

Photo: Mental Health Minister Helen Morton at the Cullacabardee Aboriginal Community, meeting with the Balga Detached Work Project, the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia and members of the Cullacabardee Aboriginal Community. 

L-R: Ian Gowing, Ann Andrewartha, Julie Riley, Mike Dixon, Craig Comrie, Matthew Thompson, Minister Helen Morton, Steven Feehan, and Clem Riley.

Improving mental health in your workplace

There are a number of things you can do to improve mental health and prevent suicide in your workplace.

Having a mentally healthy workplace is not only good for morale, it boosts productivity and reduces absenteeism.

Here are some tips for improving mental health and preventing suicide in your workplace:

  • Encourage your workplace to commit to implementing suicide prevention activities, such as promoting RUOK Day and Mental Health Week
  • Increase awareness of mental health conditions – for example, you could print off some flyers and promotional material and hang it in your lunchroom or on the staff noticeboard
  • Reduce stigma by speaking openly about mental health conditions in the workplace and encouraging others to do the same
  • Build the skills and confidence to approach someone who may be experiencing difficulties
  • Sign up for mental health first aid training
  • Encourage staff experiencing mental health problems to seek help
  • Support staff with mental health conditions to stay at or return to work
  • Monitor and manage workloads
  • Increase input in to how people do their work
  • Prevent bullying and discrimination
  • Provide regular performance feedback

For more information visit Beyondblue’s heads up page.

Key facts

  • It is estimated that 45 per cent of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.
  • On average, one in six people – one in five women and one in eight men – will experience depression at some stage of their lives.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability in Australia. Around one million Australians experience depression each year.
  • On average, one in four people – one in three women and one in five men – will experience anxiety in their lifetime. Over half of those who experience depression also experience symptoms of anxiety.
  • Over two million people experience anxiety each year, making it the most common mental health condition in Australia.
  • Although depression and anxiety can be as debilitating as a serious physical illness, less than half of those experiencing these conditions seek help.
  • These conditions tend to affect people during their prime working years.

Untreated depression has an enormous impact on the workplace.

Every year, Australian businesses lose $12.3 billion through absenteeism, reduced productivity, and staff turnover directly connected to untreated depression.

More than six million working days a lost each year in Australia as people struggle with depression without the assistance they need. By raising awareness and reducing the stigma attached to mental illness, we can help each other get back to our best.

If a culture of silence holds people back from getting help, poor mental health can create low morale in the workplace; exhaustion; high turnover; and a greater risk of accidents and other mishaps at work.

If you are concerned about a colleague, make sure they know you care and want to help. Let them know about the services available to support those in need.

One Life Agency Partners

A range of agencies across Western Australia have committed to supporting One Life by implementing suicide prevention activities and training in their workplace, and promoting mental health across their networks.  One Life Partners encompass small businesses, industry bodies, large companies, community organisations, local government and state government agencies.

For more information contact the suicide prevention team at

1. Westrac
2. Centrecare
3. WA Association for Mental Health
4. Unions WA
5. Rio Tinto Iron Ore
6. WA Jockeys Association
7. Arafmi Mental Health Carers
8. Australian Veterinary Association
9. Freehills Legal Service
10. The Brand Agency
11. Sonshine FM
12. Department of Fisheries
13. Rotary Club
14. Western Australian Country Football League
15. The Richmond Fellowship
16. Injury Control Council WA
17. Mix 94.5FM/92.9FM
18. George Jones Child Advocacy Centre
19. Martu People Ltd
20. Pilbara Regional Council
21. Great Southern Mental Health Services
22. Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union
23. McConnell Dowell
24. Pilbara Community Legal Services
25. Association of Independent Schools of WA
26. Community Arts Network WA
27. Dallard Pty Ltd
28. Angel Hands
29. Wesfarmers
30. Men’s Advisory Network Incorporated
31. Centrelink
32. Student Edge
33. Primary Care WA
34. Department of Planning
35. Department of Education
36. Youth Focus
37. Department of Local Government & Communities
38. Australian Experiential Learning Centre
39. Department of Aboriginal Affairs – Midwest
40. Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors
41. Department of Corrective Services
42. Professional Fishermen’s Association Dongara
43. Department of Agriculture and Food
44. Shire of East Pilbara
45. Western Rock Lobster Council
46. Yellow Ribbon for Life – Midwest
47. LAMP Incorporated
48. Oz Help Foundation
49. Perth Home Care Services
50. Vietnam Veterans Associations Australia WA Branch
51. Kimberley Community Legal Services
52. Lifeline WA
53. Blooming Minds WA Pty Ltd
54. Bays of Isles Community Outreach Inc.
55. Jade Lewis and Friends Inc
56. Mental Health Commission
57. WA Local Government Association
58. Peer Support Australia
59. City of Bayswater
60. WA Country Health Service
61. Farmsafe WA Alliance
62. Central West Mental Health Service
63. Crusader Management Group
64. Enable Southwest Incorporated
65. Abortion Grief Australia Incorporated
66. Synergy
67. Momentum Forum Events Australia
68. Connect Groups Support Groups Association WA Inc
69. Department of Local Government
70. Mates in Construction
71. Mission Australia
72. WA Construction Industry Redundancy Fund
73. Inspire Foundation
74. Family Court of Western Australia
75. Town of Vincent
76. Vital Conversations
77. Wheatbelt Individual & Family Support Association
78. West Australian football Commission
79. Andrismark
80. Swan River Trust
81. Department of Finance
82. VenuesWest
83. The Metro Cemeteries Board
84. Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority
85. Koombana Health Network
86. Department of Housing
87. Department of Premier and Cabinet
88. The Work Focus Group
89. Australian Dental Association WA
90. Department of Waters Western Australia
91. Department of Sport and Recreation
92. Department of Environment and Conservation
93. Edith Cowan University
94. Youth Advisory Council of Western Australia
95. Tucker Time
96. The Office of Road Safety
97. Department of the Attorney General
98. Chamber of Commerce & Industry of WA
99. Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA)
100. Department of Transport
101. Kid’s Matters Primary (WA)
102. The Neuro Diagnostic Centre
103. Women’s Law Centre
104. City of Belmont
105. Citizen’s Advice Bureau
106. Maritime Union of Australia
107. Pingelly Community Resource Centre
108. Bridging the GAP
109. Celebrate Recovery
110. Equal Opportunity Commission
111. Shire of Chapman Valley
112. Yulella Incorporated
113. Holyoake
114. Department for Child Protection & Family Support
115. Nannup Country Women’s Association
116. Sealanes (1985) Pty Ltd
117. Nannup Hair Salon
118. Noonooda Garden
119. Friends of the Blackwood
120. K-OZ Entertainment
121. Diesel Motors
122. City of Rockingham
123. Filters Elite
124. South Coastal Women’s Health Services
125. Sport FM 91.3
126. Nannup Pharmacy
127. The Good Food Shop
128. Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School
129. Anglicare WA
130. Nannup Play Group
131. Western Australian Police
132. Perth South Coastal Medical Local
133. Rockingham Ruah Inreach
134. St Patrick’s Community Support Centre
135. Safety Bay high School
136. Workforce Development and Reform
137. Geraldton Regional Aboriginal Medical Services
138. Dr Dennis Jensen MP
139. Penny Street Celebrate Recovery Rockingham
140. JDL Strategies
141. GS Mental Health
142. CME
143. Association for Sevices to Torture and Trauma Survivors
144. Account Ag
145. FROGS Early Learning Centre, Nannup
146. Anglicare WA Rockingham
147. Department of Defence
148. Peel Rockingham Kwinana Mental Health Service
149. Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service
150. Nannup Zumba
151. Nannup Community Resource Centre
152. Shire of Nannup
153. Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service (Australia)
154. Department of Treasury
155. Landgate
156. Tourism WA
157. Department of Mining and Petroleum
158. Main Roads
159. Challenger Institute of Technology
160. Centrecare Corporate
161. Rentco
162. Shaws Cartage Contractors
163. Oracle Risk Consultants
164. JSW Training and Community Services
165. Shire of Donnybrook – Balingup
166. Identity WA
167. Holistic First Aid
168. Bang Online Marketing
169. Perth Football Club
170. Primary Care
171. Heal for Life
172. MEEDAC Inc
173. Assetivity
174. Swan Districts Football Club
175. MRG TV
176. GLBTI Rights in Ageing Inc (GRAI)
177. Bauxite Resources LTD
178. Subway Northwest
179. Supply Chain Services Australia
180. Shire of Mt Marshall
181. Stephen Pole & Partners
182. Deputy Principal Pastoral Care
183. Asia Pacific Security Magazine
184. Atkins Global PTY Ltd (Perth)
185. John Wollaston Anglican Community School
186. Stephen Pole and Partners
187. Shire of Mt Marshall
188. Collie Senior High School
189. Short Term Accommodation for Youth (STAY)
190. BBX Central Perth
191. Puggle FM
192. Ajilon Consulting
193. NGIS Australia Pty Ltd
194. Friends Restaurant
195. Perth Veterinary Oncology
196. ProActive Advertising and Marketing Pty Ltd
197. Event Social Planners
198. Lydia Polyzopoulou – Private Practice
199. Traumatic Incident Reduction Facilitator
200. The Emotional Intelligence Institute
201. Brain Fit
202. Aurenda
203. International Ventures
204. My Security Media
205. Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
206. Australian Education and Leadership Centre
207. Lifeworx
208. Southern Wire
209. MenAlive Australia
210. Bellingham Business Travel
211. Graham J Chapman
212. From the Heart WA
213. Christine O’Connor
214. Share & Care Community Services Group Inc
215. The University of Notre Dame Australia
216. Rise – Your Community Support Network
217. Activ Foundation Inc
218. Anglican Schools Commission
219. TOLL Energy
220. Choices Global
221. Quality Printer Cartridges
222. Australian Hotels Association
223. Central Greenough Café
224. Shire of Kojonup
225. CY O’Connor Institute Education & Training
226. Minds United
227. Kart World
228. Local Health Advisory Group – Kellerberrin
229. Grief Recovery Method Pty Ltd
230. Out Care
231. CSA Global
232. Shire of Coolgardie
233. Avon Youth in Moora
234. Paddington Ale House
235. Rendezvous Grand Hotel
236. Ace Health and Safety
237. Gooding Partners
238. Beehive Industries
239. Catholic Education Office
240. City of Greater Geraldton
241. Bindoon Men’s Shed
242. Serco
243. Therapy Focus
244. Dunkley Corporation Pty Ltd
245. Media on Mars

7 Reasons Why You Need to Build More Muscle

Build More Muscle for a Longer and Better Quality of Life

1. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn when you are not moving. For every pound (0.45 kilograms) of muscle you add you will burn roughly 50 extra calories per day. So if you could put on 5 pounds of muscle, that would be 250 calories per day or 1,750 calories per week. That’s like 5 days of 40 minutes on a tread mill, or some pretty decent meals.

2. Muscle Helps You Live Longer. A study from Tufts University says that the more muscle you have the better your chance of living longer. Muscle is the top biomarker for increased life, even more so than blood pressure or cholesterol.

3. The more muscle you have the more insulin receptor sites you have. This explains why muscle is the top biomarker. With more insulin receptors it makes it easier for your body to keep fat off and stay lean.

For more information on health and diet and how to get yourself into the shape that you want fast, check out Fit Yummy Mummy

4. Muscle can improve your posture. This is very important in avoiding chronic pain from problems like sciatica and other back ailments. As well as the pain associated with aging. Building muscle and strength will help avoid this.

5. Muscle improves flexibility and balance. This will also aid against painful ailments and the signs of aging. Many body weight exercises like Yoga and Pilates are great for improving flexibility, strength and balance. Loss of any of these are well recognised signs of aging. Want to see for yourself? Go to an advanced Yoga class and try to guess the age of the participants, your are bound to be wrong by several years.

For Men Check Out Tom Venuto’s Burn The Fat to Transform Your Body in 49 Days

6. Muscle makes everyday activities easier. Once you have the added strength that comes with added muscle, every day tasks become easier. Lifting, bending and stretching are easier. You get less tired and your stamina improves. Strength is the number two predictor for longevity.

7. Muscle makes you look great. This will bring you a huge amount of self confidence. You can buy or wear any clothes that you want, feel confident on the beach and in just about in other situation.

For more information on health and diet and how to get yourself into the shape that you want fast, check out Fit Yummy Mummy

If you are suffering with back pain you should really check out Symptoms and Relief of Sciatica where you can pick up a free mini course and access to several sources of relief, many of which have provided immediate comfort to sufferers.

7 Tips to Help You Quit Smoking

Arm Yourself with Good Information in the Battle Against Smoking


1. Clean Out – It almost goes with out saying that you should not have any cigarettes around the house, in your car or at work. So get rid of them all. You do not want or need a fall back pack. You should also get rid of any smoking paraphernalia like ashtrays and lighters. Also clean out the smell of smoke from your life by washing your clothes and detailing your car.

2. Create a List – Make a list of all the reasons you want to and need to quit. In case you need reminding that includes cancer, cardio vascular problems including heart attack and stroke, chronic pain, breathing problems such as bronchitis and emphysema and simply regaining your sense of smell and taste. Of course you should not forget the financial benefits. Depending how much you smoke, this could become apparent before the health benefits. Imagine what you could buy for yourself and your family if you put away the money you spend on cigarettes every day. Put those items on the list for added incentive. Carry the list with you so you can refer to it when you have a craving, or your will to quit is starting to weaken.

3. Do Something Else – When the cravings for a cigarette come, you need to do something to distract yourself. The cravings normally only last a few minutes and they will come less often the longer you have quit. To alleviate the oral cravings, chew gum (sugar free), eat an apple or some other healthy snack. Try not to substitute one unhealthy routine for another like sweets, lollies or candy. They will give you other health problems like rotten teeth and weight gain. You could try cleaning your teeth when you have a craving, not every time obviously, but you should vary your craving solutions. Have an army of them you can call on. If you miss having a cigarette in your hand, have something else available like a pen or beads.

4. Drink Water – Most people do not drink enough water, smokers or otherwise. But in the quitters case it helps in two ways. It can be used as a substitution when you have a craving. It will also flush the nicotine and other toxins from your system that you have been putting in there from the cigarettes.

5. Deep Breathe – Deep breathing can also be used as a delaying tactic to help the cravings pass. It helps in a number of ways. It calms you and concentrates the mind. It also replicates the breathing change that you make when you draw on a cigarette, without sucking down all of those poisons. Some of the relaxation of smoking comes from the simple change of breathing, not just the artificial stimulants in the tobacco.

6. Cut Down Caffeine – If you drink a lot of coffee or even worse energy drinks, you will want to cut down on those too, as your body will retain more caffeine when there is no nicotine in it. This will make you jumpy and jittery and may increase your craving for a cigarette. It also becomes quite a habit for many smokers to have a cigarette with their coffee, so you want to break that pattern too. For the same reason you may also want to avoid alcohol, as many people find it hard not to smoke when they are drinking.

7. Get Help – We have left the biggest until last. If you are finding it difficult to quit do not be afraid or embarrassed about seeking help. Tobacco is a serious addiction, some say even more addictive than heroin and it has just as serious health issues. It may not kill you as fast as heroin, but it will almost certainly get you eventually. There are across the counter medications available to help you quit, such as nicotine patches or gum. Your doctor can also prescribe medication that will help reduce the cravings for cigarettes. Some people swear by hypnotism. You can visit a local practitioner or you could download MP3s that you could listen to as often you need to, without ever paying another consultation fee. Stop smoking subliminal MP3s come with a 60 day money back guarantee, if they do not work for you, you lose nothing.

The graphic below details some of the benefits of quitting smoking and how quickly they can be felt. So if you are going to quit, the best time to start is now!


God Authored My Life

I had a wonderful birthday celebration yesterday. It was a very nice celebration which causes me to stress out thinking how I can write a post about it that would really show what a great day it was, how blessed I am, how I appreciate all my family and friends who remembered my birthday, how I love my life, how I am thankful to God. I do not want to miss any detail.

There are so much to post, so many photos to upload, many people to thank. And this is one of those times when I get overwhelmed and just don’t do anything at all. But I really don’t want another day to pass without doing a birthday post.

I turned to the devotional book my friend Cassie K gave me last Christmas. It’s one of the best devotional book ever put together. It’s by Max Lucado titled “Grace For The Moment”. Oh, every page pours out grace indeed!

I read the June 12 devotion – it’s perfect for my birthday! I decided that instead of stressing out trying to come up with a perfect post about my birthday celebration yesterday, I will just share this wonderful devotion with you. Here goes:

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depth of the earth.
Psalm 139:15 NIV
David emphasizes the pronoun “you” as if to say “you, God, and you alone”. The “secret place” suggests a hidden and safe place, concealed from intruders and evil. Just as an artist takes a canvas into a locked studio, so God took you into his hidden chamber where you were “woven together”. Moses used the same work to describe the needlework of the temple’s inner curtains – stitched together by skillful hands for the highest purpose (see Exod. 26:1, 36:8; 38:9). The Master Weaver selected your temperament threads, your character nature, the yarn of your personality – all before you were born. God did not drop you into the world utterly defenseless and empty-handed. You arrived fully equipped …
What motivated you, what exhausts you … God authored – and authors – it all.

Prayer Cures Anxiety and Stress

Stress and anxiety often stems out from: 1) doing something that we are not supposed to be doing or 2) not doing something that we ought to be doing.

When others look at my life from the outside, I am doing very well. When I look at my life in terms of counting my blessings, I am doing marvelously well. But deep inside, there a longing for perfection. Deep inside there’s something that I feel I ought to be doing but not doing, or not doing well. And that’s when my stress and anxiety comes in.
I was at a loss on how to handle such stress. It’s not good to ignore it for at some point it comes out like a monster and I find myself snapping at my husband or kids.
It’s crazy how we Christians worry too much when there’s a source of power and comfort that is readily available to us ….. if only we ask .. and ask accordingly to His will.
I decided that since I was at a loss, and I really do not have the power to change my situation at this time – that I would depend on God’s power to do it for me. I am worried about my kids? hey – God holds their future! What I need to do is to do the best I can (even though in my standard I feel like I am not doing the best), and let God do the rest.
This weekend I bought myself a book. It’s called “The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer”. I have always been a fan of E. M. Bounds books on prayer. I owned several of them, although I do not have those books anymore because I tend to share it with people who i know can benefit from reading it.
I now have this book next to my bed and read it before I sleep. It inspires me to trust, to have faith, to be persistent in prayer, to hold on to the promises of God, to pursue righteousness, to simply let go and let God. It motivates me to cultivate a prayer life deeper than a “give me” kind of prayer, and yet it allows me to express my desire through prayer without any guilt that I am being selfish or demanding.
I hope to share with you some of the nuggets I find here. However, I recommend that you get yourself a copy of this book. Let’s revolutionize our Christian walk with the power of prayer. Let’s do it now.
I have not participated in Works For Me Wednesday for a while. I think this is a good post to go back in. For more Works For Me Wednesday, visit it’s new home at We Are That Family.