Gerry Georgatos – I have written more than 500 articles on the suicide crises and suicide prevention in the last several years. Over decades, visited hundreds of towns, cities, communities Australia wide, working alongside thousands of individuals trauma and suicide affected. However, though I am regularly referred to as a suicide prevention expert I do not consider myself an expert. I just do everything I can, my bit.

I do not consider anyone a suicide prevention expert, but rather contributors – support workers, whether clinical and non-clinical, psychosocial, trauma recovery. There are other contributors too, advocates and researchers.

Yes, there are also many who do not know what they’re doing and this is dangerous in a life and death space and I have long argued for more authentic suicide prevention and wellbeing spaces. However, I’ve written heaps on this.

There are pronounced narratives, and there are facts and premises, and in my experiential understandings, suicide is not complex, not difficult to understand, but there are an arc of issues and this is where the complex bit begins. No one individual is an expert across the whole range of the arc.

We need everyone. Collaboration is vital.

Humility is vital. At stake are people’s lives; of children, youth and older.

I have an extensive experiential understanding of suicidality and the crisis will continue and increase. Suicidality does not just culminate in a suicide, it can play out with other horrific circumstance, harrowing aberrances, train wreck lives and impacts on others, incarceration, death by other unnatural causes.

Suicidality can be multilayered and multifaceted, and it is intertwined with a number of issues on that arc. Suicidality is also intertwined with the lives of those in the inner circle of the affected individual.

There has to be more talking than ever before, more connection with services; proximal value, more available support.

It is my experience that trauma can be disabled but that’s another piece however what we know with certainty is that outreach support is lifesaving.

The suicide toll can be reduced. Lives can be saved.

 

  • Gerry Georgatos is a suicide prevention and poverty researcher. He is also the national coordinator of the National Suicide Prevention & Trauma Recovery Project.
  • Crisis support services can be reached 24 hours a day: Lifeline 13 11 14; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800; MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78; Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636.