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World Suicide Prevention Day motion

We move that the Senate

(a) notes that:
(i) Monday, 10th September 2012, is World Suicide Prevention Day;

(b) recognises that:
(i) Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia for men under 44 years of age and women under 34 years of age;
(ii) The most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports death due to suicide at 2,132 people per year, which amounts to 6 deaths by suicide a day or one every 4 hours;
(iii) Suicide remains underreported and estimates suggest that the total number of deaths could be as high as 2,500 a year;

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Work together to reduce suicide numbers: Greens

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.

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Response needed to mental illness in prisons

The high proportion of prisoners with a mental illness shows that Australian jails have become the psychiatric crisis centres of the 21st century, the Australian Greens said today.  

Speaking in response to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, said: "We know that people with a mental illness are grossly overrepresented in the criminal justice system.

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Referral to Human Rights Commission a good move

Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health and Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright today said she supported the referral of a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission regarding the appalling treatment of Adelaide prisoner Jacqueline Davies during her detention at Adelaide Women's Prison.

 "Recent media reports and evidence provided to a South Australian parliamentary committee about the degrading and inhumane treatment suffered by Ms Davies during her time in prison point to a breach of some fundamental human rights," Senator Wright said.

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Mental health tour highlights solutions, but also problems

Strengthening and promoting already existing partnerships must be a key element of tackling gaps in mental health services in rural, regional and remote areas, Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, Senator Penny Wright, said.

 Senator Wright said she was impressed by some of the innovative programs she saw in communities she visited as part of the first leg of her Australian-wide rural mental health consultation tour, such as the Men's Resource Centre in Albany, Western Australia.

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