Suicide continues to be a taboo area of discussion, even following new guidelines for the media to report on it and mental health advocates trying to bring the topic out of the dark.
Like other topics which people are shocked by, donâ€™t understand and hope that theyâ€™ll never have to closely experience, suicide continues to be placed into the too hard basket by society while those at the coal face edge away at removing ignorance and prejudices.
But this is a tough balancing act. Last year it was agreed by both media and mental health bodies that reporting on suicide, if done conscientiously, is probably in the better interests of understanding it, and therefore hopefully reducing it.
There are still residual concerns that reporting on suicide will encourage copycat suicides. It is difficult to be discounted entirely, despite the growing evidence that societal discussions about it allays the alienation considered prevalent with suicide victims and those who attempt it.
The Age has recently reported on this issue indepth, following findings that Victoriaâ€™s train drivers experience at least one death on the Stateâ€™s rail network each week â€“ many of which are suicides.
While peer counselling is being reported as a step-up from psychiatry and psychology for train drivers dealing with the trauma of a death, ongoing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder experienced by many of them shows that more needs to be done.
The new media guidelines in essence ask media to use extreme discretion with reporting on suicides and some have chosen to not report on it as an ethical policy. Throughout the media, most provide links to helplines, including Beyond Blue, Suicide Helpline and Lifeline.
Whatever the inroads being made, has enough been done; is its discussion moving too fast, is it moving too slowly? Does it make any difference? Given that suicide incidents are only now starting to be reported more widespread, it may be sometime before enough longitudinal research is available to see if current methods are working.
Have your sayâ€¦