Nurse’s death prompts alert

MENTAL health groups say it is important to reach out to people who are depressed or distressed in the wake of British nurse Jacintha Saldanha’s death because the tragedy may stir suicidal feelings.

A spokesman for Lifeline Australia, John Mendel, said managers taking calls in recent days had heard from several people talking about the incident in the context of their own personal struggles.

”This can have an impact on other people in society, including people who have been bullied … it can bring these thoughts to the surface again,” he said.

”We encourage people who are in crisis not to internalise it and to seek help.”

Mr Mendel said chief executive of Lifeline Jane Hayden was also writing to radio hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian to support them after angry social media users accused them of having ”blood on their hands”. The duo is said to be devastated by Ms Saldanha’s death.

Barbara Hocking, a member of the Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council, said the tragedy and widespread media coverage of it were likely to affect many people, especially those already touched by suicide.

The former director of SANE Australia and board member of R U OK? said people with mental illnesses and those going through major life events, such as divorce, unemployment, or the loss of a loved one, were also at higher risk of suicide.

”Any reporting of suicide retraumatises people who have had those thoughts or feelings themselves or who have had family members who have,” she said. ”There will be a lot of people struggling out there who are reading all about this. It is important for them to know that things will get better and that there are people who can help them.”

Adjunct associate professor in clinical psychology at the University of Canberra, Amanda Gordon, said it was highly likely that Ms Saldanha had other problems in her life because very few people commit suicide in response to one difficult issue that is likely to pass.

”If she had the opportunity to deal with whatever else it was, this may never have become such a terrible trigger for her,” Professor Gordon said, adding that this was a reminder for people to look after each other.

For help call Suicide Helpline Victoria on 1300 651 251 or Lifeline on 131 114, or visit beyondblue杭州夜网.au

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.


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