Youth Suicide Preventable - NFP tells Inquiry
20 April 2010 at 2:09 pm
Youth suicide is a preventable condition and numbers could be greatly reduced if more funding was available, a parliamentary inquiry into Youth Suicide has been told.
Research Fellow, Jo Robinson from Orygen Youth Health, described as Australia’s largest youth-focused mental health Not for Profit organisation was giving evidence to a Federal Parliamentary Inquiry being held in Melbourne.
Robinson told the enquiry that many people experience suicidal thoughts or feelings when depressed or in crisis, but these thoughts often go away quickly if there is effective help and treatment available.
She says there’s evidence that many people, especially young people, don’t tend to seek help during a time of crisis, further increasing the need to reduce the stigma attached to suicide.
However it’s not enough to rely upon young people to come forward and ask for help.
Robinson told the inquiry there is also a need to be testing and delivering early detection programs which can identify people who need support but may not be in a position to ask.
She says Orygen Youth Health has tested these programs in high schools in Melbourne and identified significant numbers of students who were at risk of suicide, deliberate self harm and depression but had not previously sought help.
She says these programs are popular in the United States but are not used in Australia and this needs to change.
The House of Representatives Inquiry is part of the Rudd Government’s ongoing investigation into youth suicide. The House of Representatives Health Committee convened a panel of experts, academics, medical practitioners to discuss issues surrounding the prevention of youth suicide. Other Not for Profits involved in mental health and depression issues are also taking part including Beyond Blue and Sane.
According to Orygen Youth Health, one in four young people will experience a mental health condition at any time in the next 12 months.
Committee Chair, Steve Georganas MP (Member for Hindmarsh, SA) says the Committee has decided to convene a roundtable of experts in Melbourne to better understand early intervention programs aimed at preventing youth suicide.
He says the Committee hopes that this forum will discuss what works and why, in the area of suicide prevention, so that it can take these lessons forward into future suicide prevention programs.