Coordinated programs to provide treatment and support is vital for people with long-term mental illnesses and suicidal tendencies.

Sadly, in many cases this is not happening.

Mental illness is a debilitating disorder that can have fatal consequences.

It is a myth that people take their lives because of social reasons, such as stress, job loss, marriage breakup, bankruptcy etc.

Mental illness is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder affecting the structure, function and chemistry of the brain.

Six points are ignored, with tragic consequences, in the assessment of suicidal mentally ill people.

They are:

  1. Chronic
  2. Progressive
  3. Neurological Disorder Affecting
  4. The Structure
  5. Function
  6. Chemistry of the Brain

All mental illnesses result from a core neurological problem. Mental illnesses are the third leading cause of disability burden in Australia, accounting for an estimated 27 percent of the total years lost due to disability.

Many people experiencing mental illness delay seeking help because they are frightened by the illness and fear stigma and discrimination. Reducing the stigma will encourage more people to seek help earlier.

Don’t be fooled by believing you can talk someone out of tragically taking their lives. Mental illness is a life-threatening condition and requires immediate and proper medical treatment. Any other life-threatening condition is treated by the medical profession and all is done to make people well again. Mental illness must be treated in the same manner medically. Families of those that suffer this dreadful illness must be treated with dignity and respect and their knowledge and opinions respected.  However, and very sadly, it is not and we are losing thousands of our own men women and children yearly to this devastation.

The White Wreath Association has never professed that it will save all lives. However, we believe we can help significantly reduce the suicide rate once our Safehaven Centres are up and running.

Two fund-raisings events to help achieve this objective will be held on 29 May – National White Wreath Day in Remembrance of All Victims of Suicide, and Wear White at Work.

Kind donations will be greatly appreciated to help us combat this epidemic.

Fanita Clark