Any death as a result of suicide is a tragedy. A child who can see no other option other than to end their own life is a tragedy beyond belief.
In recent months, it seems as though we are hearing more and more in the media about our young people killing themselves. But the truth is, we do not have a full picture of the attempts and deaths due to suicide, nor the risk factors contributing to these heartbreaking events. How can we combat what we cannot yet understand?
In the Children’s Rights Report 2014 tabled in Parliament this week, National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell highlighted the need to fully understand the problem of young people and suicide/self harm. That is, making it a priority to develop a national research agenda for them and to look at how we report and use data on suicide and self-harm – all based on the public health model.
Suicide Prevention Australia, as convenor of the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention, wholeheartedly supports these recommendations and I am particularly pleased to see them so closely aligned to work currently underway by SPA and the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention.
Two of the projects being facilitated by Suicide Prevention Australia that can contribute to delivering against these recommendations include:
- Development of a National Research Action Plan (to be launched on World Suicide Prevention Day 10 September 2015)
- Development of a National Minimum Data Set for recording of suicide deaths as part of the work of the National Committee for Standardised Reporting on Suicide
In addition to the recommendations put forward in the report, I would like to emphasise just how important it is to include diversity in our approaches as well as amplifying the voices of lived experience, as highlighted in the National Coalition for Suicide Prevention’s recent response to the World Health Organisation World Suicide Report.
Download the Children’s Rights Report 2014