An updated Guide to Staying Alive that outlines a plan to aid troubled people in surviving a suicidal episode has just been released by a mental health support group in Australia.

According to SANE Australia executive director, Barbara Hocking, the book provided a practical, clear and concise resource to help manage and prevent life-threatening feelings.

We have drawn on the experiences of people who have 'been there', so the guide gives credible and practical advice people can apply to their own situation, said Ms Hocking.

Importantly, the fully revised guide includes information on making a crisis plan, so people can prepare for what to do and who they can call if they feel suicidal in the future.

The aim is to plan ahead so they can stay safe and get the help and support they need as early as possible.

Suicide is a number one cause of death among young Australian adults.

There were 1,128 deaths caused by self-harm among those from 15 to 44 years of age, based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics' figures in 2008.

For every person who resorted to suicide, there were many more who would make an attempt and for some this occurred more than once a year, said Ms Hocking.

The guide offers these people advice on identifying their own warning signs, the support available at those times, ways to deal with bereavement and taking action to help themselves.

There are certainly things that people can do for themselves to maintain good mental health, which supports the psychological treatments and medications that may be prescribed by their doctor, said Ms Hocking.

The guide is said to be a much-needed and welcome resource by Professor Ian Webster, chairman of the Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council.

As US physician Dr Gordon Livingstone has said, 'Someone to love; something to do; something to look forward to', said Prof Webster.

This excellent personal plan tells us how to do this when we are troubled, distressed, and most vulnerable.

The Guide to Staying alive can be purchased at or by calling SANE Helpline at 1 800 18 SANE (1 800 18 7263).