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Plea To Cut Suicide Rate

GREATER community understanding and co-operation could have prevented many of the 2363 suicides last year, the Australian Medical Association said yesterday.
Lack of community understanding about the treatments available and poorly resourced and distributed service systems were among major problems, AMA federal president Dr Bill Glasson said.
He said most mentally ill people received no treatment or poor treatment, he said.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Adelaide Advertiser

System 'Failed' Suicidal Boy (10-4-2006)
Indigenous Children Worse Off (22-9-2005)
Suicide Touches 57pc Of Youth (30-8-2005)
System Failures Linked To Suicides (19-7-2005)
New Bid To Halt Youth Suicide (17-4-2005)
Child Suicide Attempts (21-10-2003)
Suicide Syndrome - Sex abuse linked to depression (28-12-1999)

Suicide Help Lines- If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide,
contact any of these helplines below
or seek immediate help from a GP or a counsellor....
Help is only a phone call away..

Kids Help Line Counselling Service
Ph: 1800 55 1800 (National 24hr service)
A counselling service for children and young people under the age of 18.

Lifeline: 13 11 14
National 24 hour telephone counselling service for the cost of a local call

Beyondblue Information Line: 1300 22 46 36
For information about depression, anxiety and related substance abuse disorders, available treatments and where to get help.

Suicide Prevention Crisis Line
Ph- (02) 9331 2000

SANE Australia Helpline: 1800 18 SANE (7263)
National Free call- Operates Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm EST
email- helpline@sane.org or visit- www.sane.org

Mens Line Australia: 1300 78 99 78 (National 24hr service)

Salvo Counselling Line: 1300 36 36 22
24 hour telephone counselling service.


  • In 2000, 1860 males (119.4 per 100,000) and 503 females (5.2 per 100,000) died by suicide. a total of 2363.

  • Many more people attempt than complete suicide. Admissions to hospital for intentional self-injury are about 10 times as common as deaths due to suicide.

  • Rates of completed suicides are three to four times higher among males than females across all age groups.

  • More young women than men attempt suicide, but women have fewer fatal outcomes.
    Males aged 20 to 44 years and 70 years and over are at highest risk of death by suicide.

  • Suicide rates for males born overseas are notably lower than for Australian-born males.

  • Deaths among young men from suicide have increased worldwide in the past 30 years.

  • Australia has a similar rate of suicide to that of the US and Canada. The rate is substantially higher than in Britain but lower than New Zealand.

  • Australia's young suicide rate (15 to 24 years) is fourth- highest among Western countries.

  • The Reach Out! website can, be accessed at www.reachout.asn.au




    Encourage the child to talk to you or to some other trusted person. Listen to the childís feelings. Donít give advice or feel obligated to find simple solutions. Try to imagine how you would feel in the childís place.
    If the childís words or actions scare you, tell him or her. If youíre worried or donít know what to do, say so. Donít be a cheerful phony.
    At times everyone feels sad, hurt, or hopeless. You know what thatís like; share your feelings. Let the child know he or she is not alone.
    -GET HELP-
    Professional help is crucial when something as serious as suicide is considered. Help may be found at a suicide prevention and crisis center, local mental health association, or through clergy. Become familiar with the suicide prevention program at the childís school. Contact the appropriate person(s) at the school.


    In a recent study on the long-term impact of child abuse, adult women who said they were physically or emotionally abused as children were more likely to have mental problems, suffer from depression and to have attempted suicide.
    Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for all persons regardless of age, sex or race; the third leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 24; and the fourth leading cause of death for persons between the ages of 10 and 14.
    It is important to take the subject of suicide seriously. It doesn't seem right that a teenager - who has lived for such a short time - would choose to die. But adolescents who can't get over their depression sometimes do kill themselves.

    Boys commit suicide more often than girls, but no one is immune. In one recent survey of high school students, 60 percent said they had thought about killing themselves. About 9 percent said they had tried at least once.

    Why has the youth suicide rate gone so high in recent years?
    It's easier to get the tools for suicide (Boys often use firearms to kill themselves; girls usually use pills); the pressures of modern life are greater; competition for good grades and college admission is stiff; and there's more violence in the newspapers and on television.
    Lack of parental interest may be another problem. Many children grow up in divorced households; for others, both of their parents work and their families spend limited time together. According to one study 90 percent of suicidal teenagers believed their families did not understand them. (However, this is such a common teen-age complaint that other factors are playing a role, too.) Young people also reported that when they tried to tell their parents about their feelings of unhappiness or failure, their mother and father denied or ignored their point of view.

    If your teenager has been depressed, you should look closely for signs that he or she might be thinking of suicide:

    • Has his personality changed dramatically?
    • Is he having trouble with a girlfriend (or, for girls, with a boyfriend)?
    • Or is he having trouble getting along with other friends or with parents?
    • Has he withdrawn from people he used to feel close to?
    • Is the quality of his schoolwork going down?
    • Has he failed to live up to his own or someone else's standards (when it comes to school grades, for example)?
    • Does he always seem bored, and is he having trouble concentrating?
    • Is he acting like a rebel in an unexplained and severe way?
    • Is she pregnant and finding it hard to cope with this major life change?
    • Has he run away from home?
    • Is your teen-aager abusing drugs and/or alcohol?
    • Is she complaining of headaches, stomachaches, etc., that may or may not be real?
    • Have his eating or sleeping habits changed?
    • Has his or her appearance changed for the worse?
    • Is he giving away some of his most prized possessions?
    • Is he writing notes or poems about death?
    • Does he talk about suicide, even jokingly?
    • Has he said things such as, "That's the last straw," "I can't take it anymore," or "Nobody cares about me?" (Threatening to kill oneself precedes four out of five suicidal deaths.)
    • Has he tried to commit suicide before?

    If you suspect that your teen-ager might be thinking about suicide, do not remain silent. Suicide is preventable, but you must act quickly.

    • Ask your teen-ager about it. Don't be afraid to say the word "suicide." Getting the word out in the open may help your teenager think someone has heard his cries for help.

    • Reassure him that you love him. Remind him that no matter how awful his problems seem, they can be worked out, and you are willing to help.

    • Ask her to talk about her feelings. Listen carefully. Do not dismiss her problems or get angry at her.

    • Remove all lethal weapons from your home, including guns, pills, kitchen utensils and ropes.

    • Seek professional help. Ask your teen-ager's pediatrician to guide you. A variety of outpatient and hospital-based treatment programs are available.

    Look for Danger Signs of Suicide

    • Previous suicide attempts
    • The verbalizing of suicide threats
    • The giving away of prized personal possessions
    • The collection and discussion of information on suicide methods
    • The expression of hopelessness, helplessness, and anger at oneself or the world
    • Themes of death or depression evident in conversation, written expressions, reading selections, or artwork
    • Statements or suggestions that the speaker would not be missed if he or she were gone
    • The scratching or marking of the body, or other self-destructive acts
    • Recent loss of a friend or a family member (or even a pet) through death or suicide; other losses (for example, loss of a parent resulting from divorce)
    • Acute personality changes, unusual withdrawal, aggressiveness, or moodiness, or new involvement in high-risk activities.
    • Sudden dramatic decline or improvement in academic performance, chronic truancy or tardiness, or running away
    • Physical symptoms such as eating disturbances, sleeplessness or excessive sleeping, chronic headaches or stomachaches, menstrual irregularities, apathetic appearance
    • Use or increased use of substances

    Note: Look for sudden changes in behavior that are significant, last for a long time, and are apparent in all or most areas of his or her life (pervasive).


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