Suicide Rates Across Federal Electorates Revealed
24 May 2016 at 11:42 am
A coalition of Not for Profit leaders in suicide and mental health has called for all major parties to spell out what they will do to address the rising toll of suicide after a report released details of growing suicide rates across 28 federal electorates.
The group released the research by consultancy ConNetica and the Brain and Mind Centre University of Sydney on Tuesday.
Adjunct Professor and ConNetica director, John Mendoza said: “What we see in electorates like Canning, Capricornia, Corangamite and Cunningham, is the impact of economic change.
“Suicide and self-harm are now major public health problems in Australia that require a public health response.
“Issues like the loss of manufacturing, the downturn in the manufacturing, resources and construction, housing affordability and the high cost of education and retraining is hitting hard.
“What we can see is that there are many families and communities across Australia facing greater economic uncertainty and greater stress. Suicide and self-harm are devastating families and communities. It is absolutely imperative then, that we get serious about tackling the rising toll of suicide and self-harm now.”
Professor Ian Hickie AM, co-director of the Brain and Mind Centre, and National Mental Health Commissioner said: “What we see in these electorates is that every region is different and every region requires a regional response”.
“Over the past seven years, under both Labor and the Coalition, we have seen the development of new regional structures for health and hospital care.
“These structures provide us with a perfect opportunity to tackle suicide and self-harm at a regional level.”
Rod Little, co-chair of the National Congress for Australia’s First Peoples said: ”When an Aboriginal family and community is devastated by the suicide of a ten year child earlier this year, it is unthinkable that there isn’t a national outcry or unified political response to enable our future generations to experience the goodness of life.
“In this case, as in many deaths from suicide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, there were a number of contributing factors including lack of employment opportunities, ineffective services and education and punitive policy approaches compounding the social pressures of vulnerable families and communities.
“The National Congress has sought constantly a mutually respectful relationship with the Parliament to work collaboratively to enable our communities to contribute to solutions to protect children and families from failed government policies, from hopelessness and no future, but to create every opportunity to enjoy life to its fullest. This must be a priority for the next Parliament, not just the elected government.”