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Work together to reduce suicide numbers: Greens

Media Release
Penny Wright 10 Sep 2012

Commemorating today's World Suicide Prevention Day, Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, said more community awareness and accurate data on suicide were needed to address the high incidence of suicide in Australia.

Senator Wright will move a motion in the Senate today that calls on all governments to promote public awareness and remove barriers to the accurate collection of suicide data in Australia, as recommended in the 2010 Senate committee report The Hidden Toll: Suicide in Australia.

"Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 44 years of age and women under 34 years of age in Australia and recent data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics suggest that, on average, one Australian takes their own life every four hours," Senator Wright said.

"Current statistics do not even take into account the potentially significant underreporting of suicide. It is vital that we have accurate data on completed suicides so we can better respond and reduce these numbers.

"Tackling the stigma that still exists around suicide in Australia is a vital component of reducing the increasing number of suicide deaths. We must be willing to speak out about suicide and it is also important that, as a community, we identify and address the underlying causes of why people take their own lives.

"All levels of government must work together to address this important issue. We need to invest in co-ordinated, community-based services that improve wellbeing, reduce stigma and enable people to feel connected and valued in their communities.

"Every suicide has a profound impact on families - and whole communities. We all need to work urgently on reversing this devastating trend."

 

Transcript of the motion can be found here.

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