Connections are key

Tamra CarrMidwest Times
Sarah Collins says since the passing of her mother, she joined suicide awareness groups to make a difference and support others.
Camera IconSarah Collins says since the passing of her mother, she joined suicide awareness groups to make a difference and support others. Credit: Supplied

A Dongara businesswoman touched by suicide believes the problem is not being adequately addressed, citing rising rates of people taking their own lives as proof of failing government and community.

Sarah Collins, 46, lost her mother to suicide about six years ago, an act she said devastated her family.

She has since become chairwoman of the Geraldton Suicide Prevention Action Group and involved with Midwest Yellow Ribbon for Life, where she is trying to facilitate people connecting emotionally with others.

The mother of four said it was this method — not popular campaigns — that would have better success at lowering suicide rates.

“The data shows that what we’re doing isn’t working, that all the funding we’re putting into projects isn’t helping,” Ms Collins said.

“For me, I think training society to go back to their grassroots of getting together for coffee and making time to connect is the solution.

“That along with educating people in school, having adolescents learn about mental health first aid and explaining to people what depression and anxiety looks like.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 3128 people killed themselves in 2017, a 9.1 per cent spike on the 2866 suicide deaths from the previous year.

The data also showed more men than women are taking their own lives.

Ms Collins is studying a Bachelor in Counselling to better help other people.

She helped co-ordinate a Dawn Walk for World Suicide Prevention Action Day on September 10 in Geraldton. Midwest Yellow Ribbon sponsored the event as part of its 20th anniversary.

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