Community & Environment |
Sixty Second Challenge

STAGGERING RATE OF SUICIDE MARKS GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

STAGGERING RATE OF SUICIDE MARKS GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
MENTAL HEALTH CHARITIES COME TOGETHER IN WORLD FIRST COLLABORATIVE FUNDRAISING EFFORT FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION & MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS

 

September 24, 2017 – More people die by suicide in Australia every year than the national road toll. New Zealand has the highest youth suicide rate in the world and the UK has the largest number of males taking their lives. Why is something that is clearly such an important global public health crisis still being swept under the rug.

 

The #SixtySecondChallenge is a global initiative that is asking people to take a minute and save a life. Take sixty seconds of your time to do a minute’s worth of push-ups however creatively you can. Upload the video to social media and nominate three mates to take the challenge on next - an online game of tag for a tremendously important issue. In its inaugural year, four countries, Australia, United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand have joined forces to fight a war worth fighting. Not only have countries come together harmoniously, but so have featured charities in each country, all working to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention. See www.SixtySecondChallenge.com

 

Eight people take their life every day in Australia. That's one person every three hours. If that isn’t scary enough, for every person that dies by suicide there are at least 20 people who attempt to take theirs. Suicide, mental health and suicide prevention are topics that need to be taken much more seriously considering that they are global public health concerns. We need this to happen immediately before we lose more lives to mostly preventable deaths.

 

With notable personalities such as Joe Williams, former NRL star turned professional boxer and Sir John Kirwan, former All Black, both of whom are strong advocates for mental health, taking up the Challenge, the organisers are hoping that, as the awareness is heightened, that the general public gets on board around the world. 

 

“If we want to really make an impact we need to shift the paradigm and the way suicide and mental health are viewed in general”, says Erin Macauley, COO of Suicide Shatters Families. “Despite efforts to make mental health mainstream we still aren’t doing enough. If we want to really prevent deaths by suicide – which we have the ability to do – we need to come together as a whole and let people know that there is hope, they can get through it, and that they aren’t alone. It isn’t just with communities though. At a policy-making level there needs to be serious changes made that come from within health organisations and the surrounding communities. If you could vaccinate for mental illness it would be a different story”.

 

Organisations all over the world are calling for this shift to mobilize the public, arming people with information designed to raise awareness and advocacy, to treat the crisis not as confined within the mental health community, but as one supported by broader social justice initiatives. With simple calls to action deployed through social media, more and more people are reminded that suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility.

Participating charities include (Australia): Beyondblue, Black Dog Institute, BATYR, Lifeline, NSW Police Legacy Reachout and Suicide Shatters Families and (New Zealand): Lifeline and KeytoLife.

 

The Challenge management team comprises Ivan Schwartz (Managing Director, Imagine Foundation Australia), Kaine Costello (Partnerships and Innovation, Everydayhero, Australia), Erin Macauley (COO Suicide Shatters Families Australia), Joe Williams (International Speaker and Founder, The Enemy Within, Australia) and two US counterparts, Kerry Martin (CEO & Founder of Hope xChange in US and Eric Kussin, Founder of “We are all a little crazy” non profit, to create an international network that is changing the dialogue surrounding suicide.


The #SixtySecondChallenge kicked off September 10 (World Suicide Prevention Day) and is running through November 18, 2017 (International Survivors of Suicide Day).


More information can be found at: www.SixtySecondChallenge.com.

Contact: Erin Macauley M: 0401842436 E: erin.macauley@me.com

886298