Attributed to: YouTubeWorld Health Organization (WHO) I had a black dog, his name was depression
You are NOT alone
Veteran Suicide Prevention Support
Signs of suicidal thinking should be recognised
There are behaviors that may be signs a Veteran or First Responder needs support.
Hopelessness, feeling like there is no way out
Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness or mood swings
Feeling like there is no reason to live
Rage or anger
Engaging in risky activities without thinking
Increasing alcohol or drug use
Withdrawing from family and friends
The presence of the following signs in a Veteran or First Responder requires immediate attention:
When asked, they express a desire to hurt or kill themselves
When prompted, they reveal that they are looking for ways to kill themselves
They talk about death, dying, or suicide
They begin to exhibit self-destructive behavior, such as increased drug or alcohol use, talking about acquiring/using weapons for self-harm, and stockpiling medication
Ask the most important question of all – Are you thinking of harming yourself?
Read resources available from the below links from organisations that have special trained professionals to assist you in how to ask the taboo question.
Talk to your GP or another medical professional if you have been affected by the Veterans thoughts and behaviours.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Validate the Veteran's and First Responder's experience and encourage treatment and fast-track getting help
As you listen to the Veteran, ask him or her do the talking and use supportive, encouraging comments.
Let the Veteran or First Responder know that you are listening and acknowledge his or her experience.
Talk openly about suicide – Be willing to listen and allow the Veteran to express his or her feelings
Recognise the situation is serious
Do not pass judgement
Reassure them that help is available
If you are a Veteran or First Responder in crisis or concerned about one, connect with a caring, qualified Veterans or First Responders Crisis Line for confidential assistance.
ADF All-hours Support Line 1800 628 036
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Black Dog Institute Support blackdoginstitute.org.au
Anyone connected, or feels honoured to remember the sacrifice that Australian Veterans and First Responders gave, or are giving to us, understands the high priority for preventing suicide amongst all Veterans and First Responders.
It is also important to realise that not all Veterans or First Responders will reach out, and may never, seek care within the Australian Mental Health Support systems.
As a civilian, Veteran, First Responder or comrade of a Veteran/First Responder, you can play a role in accomplishing Australia’s mission to combat suicide amongst our heroes, and there are many tools, programs, and support lines to reach out too.
You can discover suicide prevention resources to build networks of support among community-based organisations, Veterans or First Responder Service Organisations, health professionals, and other members of your community.
It is now time that we all strengthen the defence qualities for Veterans and First Responders,
as they do or have once done for us all.
The Good practice framework for mental health and wellbeing in first responder organisations was developed as part of the beyondblue First Responders Program.