SPA CEO comments on Children’s Rights Report 2014

27 November 2014

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.

More on The National Coalition for Suicide Prevention

More on The National Committee for Standardised Reporting on Suicide (NCSRS)

Download the Children’s Rights Report 2014

Best wishes
Sue Murray


1 September 2014
Convenor of National Coalition for Suicide Prevention and CEO of peak body, Suicide Prevention Australia, Sue Murray, says of the paper released on 10 September 2014 (World Suicide Prevention Day): “In Australia, we see excellence in suicide prevention but mostly in isolation.