A new suicide awareness campaign has been launched today to encourage Victoria Police employees and veterans to recognise the early signs of suicidal thinking and seek help.
Senior Constable Laurie Fox died by suicide in 2012, leaving behind his former partner Belinda and two young boys.
The campaign video involves the re-animation of Laurie, using deepfake technology to allow him to deliver a message about mental health, and the importance of seeing the signs and speaking up.
The 2017 Victoria Police Mental Health and Wellbeing Study found that overall, Victoria Police employees are more likely to think about suicide than the general public.
Talking about suicide can be both confronting and challenging, however open communication about suicide is known to reduce stigma and promote help-seeking behaviours.
The campaign video will be housed on the Bluespace wellbeing website, which is accessible by anyone in the community. Bluespace gives current and veteran Victoria Police employees and their families access to online wellbeing information and support service contact details, without needing a work computer to access it.
For current or veteran police employees and their families, please visit the Bluespace Wellbeing website for wellbeing information and access to support services. If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, please contact Lifeline (13 11 14), for 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services. Alternatively, please speak with someone you trust.
Quotes to be attributed to Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Neil Paterson
We’ve come a long way as an organisation, but still have a long way to go. It is important that we foster a culture that encourages everyone to speak up.
If we recognise the signs and intervene early, we can build a resilient workforce that is okay with needing, seeking and providing help. We don’t want people to struggle in silence.
For me, it is about trying to get our members better and back to the job that they love.
Quotes to be attributed to Belinda
As a policeman, all Laurie wanted, was to help people. He was trained to protect and serve others. But in the end, failed to protect what mattered most.
It is for this reason I am sharing his legacy. If hearing his story today means you’ll take a moment to reflect on anything you’re struggling with, inspire you to get help, or just remind you how much you mean to your family, then at least he can continue to do his job, even if he’s no longer with us.
Don’t suffer in silence. If you need to speak up, confidential support is now available.