Lifeline ambassador and former Giant turned Bulldog Tom Boyd is set to Shine a Light on suicide stigmas this World Suicide Prevention Day.
The partnership comes as part of a shared commitment to squash stigmas around suicide to ensure that nobody goes through their darkest times on their own and to send the message to all Australians that Lifeline is there to provide help and support during day or night, not matter the reason.
The duo are encouraging Australians to get involved and take action on Saturday the 10th of September by taking a selfie with the flash on and sharing it across their social channels tagging #ShineALight and linking to outoftheshadows.org.au.
Ahead of the annual global awareness day, Boyd shared his #ShineALight on his Instagram story while encouraging his followers to follow suit and highlighting the role that we can all play in supporting each other and in suicide.
Boyd has been open about his experiences living with anxiety, depressing and insomnia during his six-year AFL career. Boyd called time on his AFL career in 2019 after playing 61 games winning the 2016 premiership to focus on his health and wellbeing.
Boyd advocates for the importance of seeking help and support when going through tough times and is looking to bring down the stigma that can get in the way.
Boyd said it’s important to reach out to your support network or Lifeline in those dark times.
“Life is tough, and it’s okay to seek out a friend or look for alternative ways to achieve happiness and balance,” Boyd said.
“If you are feeling down and tapped out, please reach out to someone or contact Lifeline. By starting these important conversations and spreading the message of suicide prevention, you’ll see how enlightening it really is to truly open up.
“Don’t ever think that you’re a burden or that you have to face your darkest days alone.”
In addition to Lifelines crisis phone and text services, they offer evidence-based toolkits and factsheets online to help guide people through tough moments if they are experiencing challenging feelings and thoughts.
Lifeline also provides resources to help people who need help in having conversations with loved ones, friends or colleagues who may be having a difficult time.
“There are many simple and effective ways you can manage conversations with someone going through tough times. There are resources readily available to help everyone achieve their best possible mental health.”
Lifeline haven’t been needed more with over 3,000 calls coming in each day. Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, Lifeline experienced 44% growth in service demand.
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Speaking about Lifelines Shine a light initiative, Lifeline CEO Colin Seery called out Australians to help break the stigma around suicide
“In Australia, nine people take their own lives each day,” Seery said.
“Our hope is that by shining a light this World Suicide Prevention Day, we can help start more conversations by tackling preconceptions, myths and clichés head on.
“On September 10th, we are calling on the nation to help bring suicide stigmas out of the shadows and into the light and encourage everyone to either speak up or reach out to someone who might be struggling.”
Seery says he’s looking forward to work with Boyd, not just for World Suicide prevention day, but into the future.
“We’ve watched with admiration the work Tom has done and continues to do in stewarding the discussion on mental health and suicide, and couldn’t be more excited about this new partnership for World Suicide Day Prevention and beyond.
“Tom will be a powerful advocate for the work we do at Lifeline.”
If you, or someone you know, are feeling overwhelmed, we encourage you to connect with Lifeline in the way you feel most comfortable.
You can phone Lifeline to speak to a Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14, text 0477 131 114 or chat to Lifeline online at www.lifeline.org.au at any time.