Ending the suicide silence

"We will never get to see our sister and daughter and friend again and we have no choice but to live with that. But out of this tragedy and the countless other tragedies, there has to come a positive."

- Jack Baker (pictured, right), writes about his little sister Mary (left) in this weekend's Border Mail.

EDITORIAL - Our campaign starts NOW.

How do you give a voice to something that is deafening in its silence?

How do you talk about, write about, or even try to explain a subject that has for so long been shrouded by stigma?

It has long been a no-go zone for the media. But attitudes are changing and for some time, this newspaper has considered having this discussion with our community.

We believe the time has come.

It’s time to talk about suicide.

From today, The Border Mail launches a week-long campaign, and an ongoing commitment, to help end the silence of suicide.

We will be talking to the brave families who have lost loved ones to suicide and who are speaking up in the hope of preventing further loss of life. We will be talking to friends, to community groups, to doctors, to counsellors, to support groups and to emergency services.

We will be talking to world-leading authorities in the field, including Dr Patrick McGorry, the 2010 Australian of the Year. He writes for us today.

We will explore our mental health system and issues associated with depression.

We will be campaigning for better services, for more support.

At all times, we will treat every story with compassion and respect.

It is our hope, and the hope of the families sharing their stories, that this campaign will encourage you to talk to your family and friends about a subject too often shied away from. We want your involvement and your feedback.

Today, we are sending out an SOS to everyone in the community to end the Shame Of Suicide, the Stigma Of Suicide, the Silence of Suicide.

Because if there is one thing we know, it is that suicide can happen to anybody.

So let’s talk about it.

IN THIS WEEKEND'S BORDER MAIL

JACK BAKER: It's time to talk

DR PATRICK McGORRY: We can prevent these tragedies

FEATURE: The Baker family tells of the cruellest heartache

NEXT WEEK: Others touched by the pain of suicide speak out. PLUS, our online campaign begins.

Click play to watch this video, created by Rose Schramm, Wide Angle Tasmania, October 2009 for Tune In Not Out.

IF YOU NEED HELP

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Kids Help Line: 1800 551 800

SANE Australia: 1800 187 263 (Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm)

Suicide Helpline Victoria: 1300 651 251

NSW Rural Mental Health Support Line: 1800 201 123

Upper Hume Community Health Service: 1800 657 573

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