2nd June, 2014

DAVID ADAMS

One of the campaign posters.

A new national advertising campaign aimed at helping prevent suicide rolls out across Australia today.

The campaign, which runs until the end of the year, will see posters placed in more than 250 bus shelters in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne as well as in regional locations carrying the message 'Spot the signs, help stop suicide'.

The campaign is the work of the Wesley Mission - which now has now trained more than 20,000 Australians in suicide prevention - and outdoor advertiser Adshel through its The Importance of Giving Back campaign.

With more than 2,500 people taking their own lives in Australia each year, Wesley Mission CEO Rev Dr Keith Garner says the numbers exceed those killed by skin cancer or in traffic accidents.

"Simple effective interventions can make a difference and save lives," he says. "The support of Adshel will help raise awareness, build strength and understanding in communities and help prevent suicide."

The three different advertisements, which were all photographed by Sydney's Nick May, refer people to the Wesley Mission website and its LifeForce suicide prevention training programs. Developed in consultation with the Federal Government's Mindframe initiative which aims to encourage responsible, accurate and sensitive representation of mental illness and suicide in the Australian mass media, they feature a father, a mother and a son holding up signs reflecting their thoughts.

"By highlighting the thoughts of a father, brother, mother, son or friend it will enable people to be more aware of the hidden signs of depression and suicide," Dr Garner said.

~ www.wesleymission.org.au

~ For support and information about suicide prevention in Australia, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.