NSTE takes a minute for suicide prevention

August 1, 2017 by Community Editor
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In recognition of the 2017 World Suicide Prevention Day, Sydney’s North Shore Temple Emanuel will  hold two thought-provoking Shabbat services, in addition to a special program with Rabbi Nicole Roberts, to acknowledge the pain experienced by friends and family of those who have taken their own lives.

Rabbi Nicole Roberts

Take a Minute, Change a Life’ is the theme of the 2017 WSPD, as these three words are at the heart of suicide prevention.

During the Friday evening Shabbat service on 1 September, NSTE members, Susan Michaels and Barbara Berman, will speak about their personal experiences with suicide. They will also be available after the service to provide assistance and support, answer any questions, and distribute literature and contacts of organisations, such as Jewish House and Lifeline.

As a member of Suicide Prevention Australia, Susan Michaels says, “We hope that by sharing our stories we may be able to help and give solace to those in pain.”

During the Shabbat morning service on 2 September, Adam Schwartz, author of Mum, I Wish I Was Dead: The story of a teenager who conquered depression will share his inspirational journey and help raise awareness of warning signs and ways to help those who are struggling with mental illness. Adam’s story is one of struggle and triumph. If anything, it is a story of hope, and he aims to give that back to families struggling with the often hidden and difficult issues surrounding depression and suicide.

Adam will be available after the service to answer further questions from the congregation.

Suicide plagues all communities. The World Health Organisation estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide each year; that’s one person every 40 seconds. In Australia, more than 2500 people die each year, with the latest figures from 2015 indicating that 3,027 Australians took their own life that year. Research also indicates that some 65,000 people attempt suicide each year and hundreds of thousands contemplate taking their own lives.


For more information about the ‘Take a Minute’ services and program at North Shore Temple Emanuel, visit www.nste.org.au or call 9419 7011.

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