SPA CEO on the sad death of Robin Williams

11 August 2014

I was saddened to hear this morning of the death of much loved comedian and actor Robin Williams.

Suicide Prevention Australia joins the world in mourning the loss of life of someone who has brought so much humour, joy and empathy to people through his work.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding this sad death, we would strongly encourage any person who is feeling vulnerable to access the services and support available. Our National Coalition for Suicide Prevention partners Beyond Blue for example, have put together a collection of resources and tools specifically for men – http://www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/men

In reading the press this morning coming out of the United States, I was particularly struck by some of the lack of consistency and sensitivity in reporting a suspected suicide. In this country, the Mindframe National Media Initiative reinforces the important role media has to play in influencing social attitudes towards, and perceptions of, suicide and mental illness.

Most media try to ensure that suicide is not portrayed as a way to solve personal problems or glamorised in any way, but it is clear from today’s reporting that there is still progress to be made. SPA would again encourage media in this country and internationally to learn from the sensitive and practical guides Mindframe makes available to those working in the media. http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media

Our thoughts are with Robin Williams and his loved ones.

Sue Murray, CEO Suicide Prevention Australia
suem@suicidepreventionaust.org

If you, or someone you are with, is in immediate danger call 000.

For urgent assistance please call one of the following:

Lifeline
13 11 14
Crisis support chat

Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467 (cost of a local call)
Online counselling

Men’s Line
1300 78 99 78
Online counselling

Veterans Line
1800 011 046

Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800
Visit the website for online counselling