You Can Talk

The #YouCanTalk campaign is a collaborative effort led by Australia’s national mental health and suicide prevention organisations, which aims to empower and increase people’s confidence when talking about suicide. #YouCanTalk is about connecting people to the resources available which can support these conversations.

The key message is that you don’t need to be a clinician, GP or nurse to check-in with someone you are worried about. Trust your instincts and reach out to people when you feel something’s not right.

Suicide prevention resources can assist you to recognise the signs that someone is thinking of suicide, provide guidance on how to talk openly and honestly with others, and outline what to do when someone says they need help.

Tips to consider if you are talking to someone you are worried about:
  • It is better to reach out than avoid the person for fear of getting the conversation wrong.
  • Ask the question directly – “Are you having thoughts about suicide?” – and be prepared for the answer to be yes
  • Make the person feel comfortable by listening without judgement. Don’t try to ‘fix’ the problem or talk them out of suicide.
  • Ensure they are safe for now and talk to them about who else you can involve to help them feel supported
  • Connect with available resources to help you navigate the conversation.

Click on the heading links below if you are looking for tools, resources and/or training to support the #YouCanTalk campaign

#YouCanTalk to those with lived experience

People with lived experience can provide valuable insights into suicide prevention initiatives and Ingrid Ozols from mentalhealth@work provides an important lived experience perspective around the #YouCanTalk campaign.

#YouCanTalk to members or groups in your community

Community members and groups play a huge role in understanding the behaviours of local people and how to enact support when it’s needed. Life in Mind, through the #YouCanTalk campaign connects community members with the right resources and services to support people having difficult conversations, bereaved by suicide and providing crisis support services.

#YouCanTalk to communities affected by suicide

When a suicide occurs, the effects can be far-reaching. #YouCanTalk about a death however some consideration should be given to how it is talked about, with whom and in what setting.

#YouCanTalk to colleagues within your workplace or business

If you work in an organisation or business, it’s important you can recognise the warning signs of your colleagues. Knowing these signs, starting a safe conversation and directing to support services or resources empowers you to act as early as possible.

#YouCanTalk within the suicide prevention sector to peers and organisations

As a member of the sector, it’s ok to ask, share and talk about your experiences in suicide prevention.

Suicide prevention is part of everyday life and the more organisations involved and collaborating on crisis support services, stimulating programs and developing resources, the stronger the suicide prevention network becomes.

#YouCanTalk and get information at your own pace

Getting current information at your own pace is our aim. Life in Mind gives all members of the community access to suicide prevention resources, services, programs or data, giving you the freedom to choose when and where you read.

“Everyone has the opportunity to save a life . . . people with lived experience of suicide tell us all the time that it is a relief when someone asks them with confidence if they are thinking about suicide. ‘It lets me know that it’s ok to talk to you. I just want you to listen, without judgement, sit with me in our pain, and walk beside me while we find what we need to be safe.’ Everyone can do this.” – Bronwen Edwards, Founder and CEO, Roses in the Ocean

“Suicide is an issue that many find difficult to talk about, but it is an issue that is having major impacts on communities across Australia. #YouCanTalk is about giving people the confidence to have the conversation by connecting them to the tools that can support them.” – Everymind Director, Jaelea Skehan

“Australia has world-leading suicide prevention services and we want to ensure people who need them access them. However, the reality is, not everyone will seek help themselves – they may firstly disclose their need to family and friends.” Lifeline CEO, Bob Gilkes

The more #YouCanTalk about suicide with your friends and family in an open, honest and empathetic way, the more lives we can save.” – ReachOut CEO, Jono Nicholas

“The evidence is in: it is not harmful to ask someone if they are thinking about taking their own life or find out if they have made a plan. In fact, it could help. It’s important that we all know the facts about suicide and our prevention efforts are informed by what the research tells us.” – Black Dog Institute Director, Prof Helen Christensen

“Our message is this: #YouCanTalk about suicide. Half the population think that they can’t. We are on a mission to partner with the community to prevent suicide in this country.” – Beyond Blue CEO, Georgie Harman
Date Published
March 16, 2022
Join for more

Keep up to date from the Roses in the Ocean team