Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) is shining a light on suicide by dispelling common myths. Every year, suicide is one of the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. In rural areas of Australia, suicide rates are on average, 50 per cent higher than in cities. READ ALSO: It's time to start a 'Sconversation' for CWA awareness week Key to suicide prevention is raising awareness, encouraging conversations and supporting one another, CRRMH director, Professor David Perkins said. "World Suicide Prevention Day provides an opportunity for each and every one of us to share our grief about those we have lost to suicide, speak about how we're feeling and also share the responsibility of preventing suicide," Professor Perkins said. READ ALSO: Upper Lachlan nominations open for Australia Day Awards "We all have a part in helping to prevent suicide and this includes helping to dispel common myths and misinformation that can increase stigma, shame and guilt experienced by people who are thinking about or have attempted take their own life." "Dispelling a common myth that there is nothing that can protect someone from suicide is critical. While suicidal behaviour is complex, we know suicide is not inevitable and may be prevented," Professor Perkins said. READ ALSO: Transport links for rural and regional areas delayed Almost a third of Australians think people who talk about suicide will rarely kill themselves, a 2017 national survey by Colmar Brunton found. However, many people will communicate their suicidality directly or indirectly to a health professional in the three months prior to their death, evidence from Suicide Prevention Australia showed. READ ALSO: NSW public schools enrolment zones review Talking about suicide is a warning sign and should be taken seriously. Suicidal behaviour is complex but there are known protective factors including: - Employment and financial security. - Social support and connectedness in stable relationships. - Access and availability to effective mental health care. - Plans for future and strong reasons for living. - Certain life skills such as problem solving and resilience. - Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide. READ ALSO: Low water levels, no worries at all at the Grabine Freshwater Fishing Tournament Almost 20 per cent of Australians believed talking about suicide increased the risk of suicide, a 2017 national survey by Colmar Brunton found. However, openly discussing the topic of suicide can open the door for someone to get help, according to Suicide Prevention Australia. READ ALSO: Dealing with life on the rocks People living with a mental illness are at increased risk of suicide but suicidal ideation and behaviour can happen to anyone. Many people living with a mental illness are not affected by suicidal behaviour and not all people who take their life have a mental illness. Heightened suicide risk is often short-term and situation-specific. While suicidal thoughts may return they are not permanent and an individual with previous suicidal ideation can go on to live a long life.