Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has thrown his support behind World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 and is calling on the Coast community to also back the international initiative.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows in 2014 there were 2,864 deaths possibly by suicide nationwide (2160 men and 704 women), while in Queensland there were 648 recorded cases of suicide.
Mr McArdle, Deputy Chair of the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Committee, said many parents and people in the community would be quite shocked to learn suicide does not discriminate especially among young people.
“It is alarming that that between 2004 and 2012 there were 149 suicides involving children aged between 10-17 in the Child Death Register in Queensland*,” Mr McArdle said.
“Since 2008 suicide has surpassed traffic accidents as the leading cause of death for young people aged between 15 and 24 years.
“There are initiatives in place to consider how suicide rates can be reduced, such as the Suicide Action Plan for Queensland but clearly there needs to be a targeted approach across all government bodies and key stakeholders to understand the why of suicide and protect those who are vulnerable as best as we can.
“We need to start talking about the why of suicide, not the how, under the guidance of experts in this area.”
Mental Health Commissioner Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck said everyone can play a role in preventing suicide.
“I congratulate all leaders in our communities who raise awareness so that we can recognise and help those at risk of suicide. We can ask, are you okay? We can encourage people to seek help,” she said.
World Suicide Prevention Day aims to draw attention to suicide prevention by connecting people, making it easier to find help, talk safely about suicide, improve understanding and encourage more focus on wellbeing.
On the 6th September there is an educational morning tea at Mayfield House, 29 The Esplanade Maroochydore from 10.30-11.30am.
A Suicide Bereavement Remembrance Day will be held on September 10 at Picnic Point, Maroochydore from 10am-noon.
If you or someone you know needs help please contact Lifeline on13 11 14.
*Coroner findings into the death of JE and JJ
For further information contact: Michelle French, Office of Mark McArdle, 5329 4100.