WE are not a nation of dobbers and that is part of the problem when it comes to suicide, according to Lifeline central west director Alex Ferguson.
This Suicide Prevention Week he is asking people to look at their brother, sister, friend, mother or father and ask them if they are alright. If not, then that is the time to dob.
“If you see someone in strife the first thing you should do is dob on them,” Mr Ferguson said.
Suicide Prevention Week, from September 8 to 14 aims to raise awareness and get people talking.
Mr Ferguson said recent suicides in the Orange region had highlighted that it was a growing issue for the community.
“Many people just don’t see it coming and the reason is people quite often mask the situation and their emotions,” he said.
“There’s stigma that’s attached to it and when people hide they can’t be diagnosed.”
He said mental health was treated differently to a physical illness in our culture and people often did not want to “dob” if they saw a friend suffering.
“It’s counter-cultural, most Australians don’t dob on their mates,” he said.
Mr Ferguson says mental health issues can stem from an event, or events, that happened many years ago.
“It can be issues you’ve carried around for 20 or 30 years,” he said.
“If we can just get people to recognise they’re not ok, and that people are not going to judge them.”
The impacts of the decision to suicide are far reaching, according to Mr Ferguson, and will stay with friends and family for the rest of their lives.
“The people who kill themselves are out of the equation ... the amount of destruction they bring is unimaginable,” he said.
“They will ask these questions in their minds until they die - could I have done more? Why didn’t I see it?
“If people are seriously unhappy with their lives suicide is the last thing that should be on the agenda, the first thing that should be on their minds is getting support.”