Royal Commission into Australia's increasing suicides crises
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Suicide is the leading cause of unnatural deaths in Australia and it's a shambolic disgrace - moral and political abomination - that it is not one of the pressing issues of our time. Suicide, Australia's leading cause of unnatural deaths
Suicides are more than two and a half times the national road toll;
more than 30 times domestic violence homicides;
one in 50 Australian deaths;
one in 17 First Nations deaths is a suicide;
the leading cause of death of Australians aged 15 to 35;
in 2017, there were at least 3,128 suicides, with nearly a third comprised of the migrant born; and
up to 200 Australian children aged 17 years and less suicide each year.
The child and youth suicide crises are effectively in a permanency of an increasing toll, with children as young as 9 lost to suicide. I remember so many children who have taken their lives
I called for a Royal Commission in 2016 and got close but that three years later we're 10,000 Australians dead by suicide and the harrowing, staggering crises reprehensibly increasing. As I stated in 2016, a Royal Commission is the only best shot we have left. Call for Royal Commission
The suicide prevention space needs to be authenticated and only a Royal Commission - long overdue - can do this. Australia's suicide prevention plan is barely worth the name
If it hadn't been for me taking out to the nation the loss to suicide of 5 girls aged 12 to 15 in the first 9 days of 2019, there wouldn't have been an initial funding response, albeit minimalist, by Governments and if I had not facilitated a relentless conversation with the nation through the media, and introduced a multitude of voices and including the lived experience families, there would not have been any policy and funding commitments during this election stretch but the responses are nevertheless piecemeal and reductionist and ad hoc and harrowingly will make little difference. Suicide is the leading cause of unnatural death and we must get the causal narratives and the responses absolutely correct and authentic and at speed. This is people's lives and from a triage vantage suicide and our youth should be the standout focus of the election.
Thus far this year, there have been an estimate 1,100 suicides nationally. Two-thirds of these souls lived within socioeconomic disadvantage.
In reference to First Nations suicides, the raw data screams loudly as to the underwriting, as to causal narratives. Of the 60 suicides thus this year, 57 lived below the poverty line, many mired in crushing poverty. If we reject the poverty narrative then we're rushing to not only to just nowhere but reprehensibly backwards. Of the 60 suicides, three were homeless, 51 lived in some form of social housing and we have to understand social housing as where after the homeless the poorest Australians live.
Nearly 100 percent of suicides of First Nations people were of people who lived below the poverty line.
Suicide is a heartbreaking tragedy across the continent.
The youngest Australian suicides, in recent years, are of three children who were aged nine. The youngest Australian to attempt suicide that I have come across was aged six.
I’ve written hundreds of pieces on the suicide crises and, from a trauma recovery vantage, I've worked alongside more than 1,000 suicide-affected families.
Suicide is an escalating crisis dear sisters and brothers and if enough of us call for a Royal Commission then it'll happen and may we save the lives of our young and older - there is no greater legacy.
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