LIFELINE WA has teamed up with Perth Airport in raising awareness on suicide, particularly male suicide.
Five collection boxes were installed yesterday at Perth Airport’s T1 terminal, where people can donate either on their way out of Perth, or on their arrival in whatever currency they have in their pockets.
Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said that while a handful of foreign coins may mean nothing to a traveller, when you add them all up, we can all make a big contribution in saving lives.
“We’ve all done it before – we take those foreign notes and coins home, put them in a drawer and forget about them so why not drop them in here where they can make a real difference and maybe save someone’s life,” Mr Brown said.
Lifeline WA CEO Lorna MacGregor said the collection boxes were a great initiative.
“We’re very grateful that Perth Airport has thrown its support behind Lifeline WA, and we ask passengers to the airport and those seeing off or welcoming family and friends to drop some spare coins or notes into the boxes,” she said.
Suicide is now the leading cause of death for Australian men aged 15-44 years.
Of the 371 West Australians who died by suicide in 2016, 266 were male – 71 per cent.
Consistently, over the past 10 years, the number of suicide deaths in men has been three times higher than women.
Ms MacGregor said the reasons for the gender imbalance are complex.
“Research has found a significant barrier to men seeking help is the need to conform to traditional norms of masculine behaviour which focus on stoicism, independence, invulnerability, and avoiding talking about emotions,” she said.
Lifeline WA Director Beau Waters said the statistics are alarming.
“The perception of stigma associated with mental health is a significant barrier to men who are afraid to reach out for fear of being judged or appearing weak,” he said.
If you are depressed or needing help you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.