Monday September 10 marks the tenth anniversary of World Suicide Prevention Day,
but it doesn’t necessarily mean that this complex issue is any closer to becoming
acceptable dinner table talk.
On the other hand, for Naoko Ide it is important to create an environment for people to
open up about their thoughts and feelings in times of distress.
“If I am hearing someone talking about suicide that can be a good sign, because at least
then, they’re opening up about the difficulties in their lives and there’s a chance to do
something about them before anything drastic happens,” says Ms Ide.
“Suicide is a very difficult topic to talk about because of the stigma that still surrounds it,
and may involve any number of risk factors, but we do know that any suicide prevention
strategies need to be tailored to the individual’s specific needs.”
A graduate of Griffith University’s Master of Suicidology, Ms Ide is now a case manager
for Brisbane-based community organisation Footprints, a support agency for people with
mental illness or from disadvantaged backgrounds. There she works with the Resident
Recovery Program to provide personalised lifestyle support to clients who may suffer
from a range of mental illness such as schizophrenia, depression or personality disorders.
“We work within a client-centered approach whereby an individual identifies their own
recovery goals and we support him/her to enhance their quality of life.
“To have meaningful activities and community connections and a safe, comfortable living
environment enables people to find a more purposeful life, thus reducing the risk of
“Some days can be very tough, for example when clients are facing crisis and there is a
lack of after-hours community-based support services. For some clients moving from
supported accommodation or hospital to independent living can be a challenging and
“A lot of clients may have issues with chronic suicidality and of course that is very sad,
but talking through things and building up a trusting relationship with someone can often
be a very good start to alleviating things.
“This work can also be very rewarding, such as when I assist clients to manage their
mental health and help them achieve their goals. I then look back and see that I have
played a role on that journey.”
Ms Ide says her Master of Suicidology, which she completed on a part-time basis whilst
working as a researcher for Griffith’s Australian Institute for Suicide Research and
Prevention (AISRAP), was a good foundation for the type of work she is now in.
“Theprogram taught me a lot about suicide prevention strategies and interventions, as well as
giving me a good grounding in clinical practice.
“Now working within this community setting, I am able to put all the theoretical
knowledge I learnt into practice in the real world.”
“The Master of Suicidology and the Graduate Certificate in Suicide Prevention Studies
are the first suicide prevention tertiary qualifications developed in the world,” says Jacinta
Hawgood, a lecturer at AISRAP.
“These two programs are unique in that they provide a full perspective on suicide so
that students gain a holistic, scientific-based understanding of this multi-faceted phenomenon.
“No single perspective can explain suicidal behaviour, be it medical-biological,
social, cultural, behavioural, or psychological. Suicide is a result of a multiple interplay
of contributing factors that may be explained from several theoretical domains.”
Ms Hawgood says that AISRAP is expecting an increase in student enrolments
over the next couple of years with the expected increase in suicide rates globally.
“Policy makers, researchers, clinical, clergy, community and emergency workers
all have benefited from our programs and several of our graduates have become
employees of AISRAP.”
- The World Suicide Prevention Day Forum is being hosted by AISRAP (a National Centre of Excellence in Suicide Prevention) on September 10 at the Christie Conference Centre, 320 Adelaide Street, Brisbane. The theme is Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope.
- A host of AISRAP suicide prevention research will be presented on the day, alongside presentations from organisations including Queensland Health, Queensland Police and the Lifeline Foundation.
- The QLD Minister for Health, the Hon. Lawrence Springborg, will be opening the event.
- For full information on the event please visit http://www.griffith.edu.au/health/australian-institute-suicide-research-prevention/news-events