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It’s time to recognise how to stop the violence
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April 5, 2016

‘Changing Minds, Saving Lives’ – Psychoanalytic Insights: Suicide

By Pamela Nathan

‘Changing Minds, Saving Lives’ – Psychoanalytic Insights is a series designed to introduce psychoanalysis, by taking simple gems from the psychoanalytic dreamtime that may become tools for living.

Standing Still in the Storm – Stop Suicide & Save lives

I think we can say a few simple things about suicide in order to change minds and save lives. Suicide concerns us all.

  • Suicide is about intense emotional pain
  • Suicidal acts are a cry for help
  • Feeling suicidal is not permanent


Some of the emotional triggers can be:

  • Anger
  • Jealousy
  • Fear
  • Shame
  • Pressure
  • Rejection
  • Abandonment
  • Failure
  • Loneliness
  • Overwhelmed
  • Hopeless

Some of the event triggers can be:

  • Loss of loved one
  • Relationship breakup
  • Abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Depression

Here are some Tools:

  • Find a mate to talk to and share your story
  • Talk about worries or feelings
  • Man down
  • Know that states of mind can change quite quickly
  • Curb impulsivity
  • Have a safety plan
  • Problem solve
  • Know you are cared for by someone
  • Contain feelings
  • Stand still in the storm
  • Believe in self
  • Have hope
  • Know your story
  • Know that pain can be healed

We can all look out for people who are looking or sounding down and find a talking space. But also look out for the people who seem to be doing well – the success story kind of guy. I hear quite often about the guy who “was doing so well” who then took his life. Tell them to stand still and stop suicide and save a life.


Standing still

The songs of Kaporilya

“It is Kantjira himself who is sitting without a move.

Moveless like a boulder he is sitting;

His hair bedewed with the rain he is sitting…

Shaking the earth, yes, shaking the earth,

Calls the voice of the thunder, the voice of the thunder…

A flash of lightning Shocks and terrifies…

Moveless like a boulder he is sitting

His hair bedewed with rain he is sitting…

The power (of the flood) has been broken,

It is soaking into the sand.”


(Strehlow 1971, 454-458)

If you need immediate support and information about suicide prevention please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

For more information about how CASSE can provide support for individuals and communities to think together about how to develop secure relations and psychological wellbeing for today and the future, contact us: Phone 0430 540 366 Email