WE CARE: Sharon Kelly and Lea Sycamore are two of the 40 Project We Care ASIST trainers with the ultimate goal of saving lives for tomorrow.
WE CARE: Sharon Kelly and Lea Sycamore are two of the 40 Project We Care ASIST trainers with the ultimate goal of saving lives for tomorrow. Brenda Strong GLASUIC

Youth suicides on increase with high rate in regional areas

REGIONAL areas have recorded a higher number of youth suicides, as new data reveals the horrifying trend that youth suicides are increasing in Queensland for children as young as 10.

The Commission for Children and Young People identified 169 suicide deaths of children and young people in Queensland, between July 2004 and June 2013.

The CCYP says the higher rate of youth suicides in regional areas may be due to a shortage of suicide prevention resources.

Acting Child and Young Person Commissioner Barry Salmon said there had been a gradual rise in the youth suicide rate in Queensland since 2004, particularly among children aged 10-14 years.

"The data suggests a potential emerging trend of youth suicides increasing in Queensland, particularly for a younger cohort" he said.

But Gladstone - keep talking.

That's the message from Michaelle Luijs, Gladstone's facilitator of Survivors of Suicide Bereavement Support Association.

Michaelle believes if people talk about their experiences, it will help others.

Ms Luijs said Gladstone had many families which had been affected by suicide, but not everyone was willing to talk about it.

"But it is slowly getting out there," she said.

"It used to be you couldn't say the C word (cancer), now look at how many lives have changed," she said.

"It's the same with mental illness - if we get it out there then a lot of people will be saved."

She said the knowledge of mental health, and education to help those with mental health problems had improved markedly in recent times.

"If somebody is in that frame of mind, you have to say: Are you thinking of suicide, not are you thinking of doing something silly," she said.

"It's more of a wake up call when the word is actually used."

Sad facts

  •  In 2012-13, suicide was the second leading external cause of death overall with 22 deaths of children aged under 18 years.
  • In total, suicide accounted for 46.8% of deaths by external (non-natural) causes among children and young people aged 10-17 years in 2012-13.

- Commission for Children and Young People

Helplines

  • LifeLine: 13 11 14 (24 hour)
  • Mensline: 1300 789 978 (24 hour)
  • Suicide Callback Line: 1300 659 467 (24 hour)
  • National Hope Line: 1300 467 354 (24 hour bereavement support)
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
  • Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800 (24 hour)
  • SANE Helpline: 1800 18 SANE (M-F 9am-5pm)


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