Seeing beyond the data: Recognising that we’ve come a long way offers hope

Tiyana Gostelow. 

It’s no secret that demand for suicide prevention services continues to increase, and at times, we can become weary of the challenges and barriers experienced across the sector.

Yet, what inspires me is knowing we have a sector filled with passionate, dedicated individuals who are determined to drive change in suicide prevention. 

I attended the “State of the Nation - Longitudinal Data” presentation at the National Suicide Prevention Conference in Adelaide this week. 

The State of the Nation in Suicide Prevention report gathers in-depth intelligence from the suicide prevention sector. As the peak body for suicide prevention in Australia, it informs policy and practice towards the goal of a  world without suicide.

During this session, Jason Delgado, Data and Impact Analyst for Suicide Prevention Australia shared that 80% of survey respondents identified service demand has increased across Australia in the past four years. 

The report also identified that those working in the sector felt access to training had declined over the last four years.

Additionally, we have seen a downturn in longer-term contracts.  

While these trend numbers sound bleak, I continuously remind myself how far we have come in the 14 years I have worked in the sector. 

When I first started out aftercare and postvention services were extremely limited. 

But now, I find inspiration and hope in work being done to improve access to services nationwide as well as the efforts to improve responses following suicide-related incidents. 

In my current role as Program and Implementation Manager at SafeSide Prevention, I work in the area of organisational consultation and support those who are ready to embed suicide prevention education into their workforce. 

Systems change starts at the individual level, our commitments, passion, and contributions we make to this work will soon be reflected in the data.

The power of people’s shared voices and collaboration has always and will always continue to drive positive change in suicide prevention 🌏.

Tiyana Gostelow 

SafeSide Program and Implementation Manager, Australasia 

SafeSide Prevention

Acknowledgement of Country
SafeSide Prevention acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and work. We recognise and respect that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of this country. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Acknowledgement of Lived Experience
We acknowledge the lived experience of those with suicide and mental illness, their families and carers. Their preferences, wishes, needs, and aspirations are at the heart of all the work we do.

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