A BENDIGO campaigner has lent her voice to a campaign to prevent deaths by suicide during the COVID-19 crisis.
Alannah McGregor has appeared in a series of videos designed to educate people about the effects of suicide.
The videos are part of a series for #ListenNow week, run by funeral directors Tobin Brothers.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Network Central Victoria vice-president and founding member, Mrs McGregor discussed her own family's experience, after two of her children died by suicide.
Mrs McGregor said each video was a way to say that suicide was something difficult for a whole community, and something the community could prevent.
For those struggling, there were people who would help, and would listen, Mrs McGregor said. Asking for help was nothing to be ashamed of, she said.
For others, Mrs McGregor said it was important to offer to help if you saw someone struggling.
She said it could be as simple as asking if someone was okay if they were behaving differently, their mood was lowered, or they were isolated.
Mrs McGregor said you didn't have to be a professional to support someone who was struggling with their mental health.
"You would just say to them straight out, 'I've noticed you seem a bit down, is there anything you need to talk to me about?'" she said.
"If their depression is very, very obvious, you could say, 'I've noticed you're not doing well, are you thinking of taking your own life?'
"Then you have to be prepared for whatever their answer is, and in a non judgmental way, be prepared to help them find a GP, go to counselling, help them find help."
More online at: facebook.com/SPANcentralvic/.
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