Suicide is a gut-wrenching crisis that’s ripping up lives in our communities with two Queenslanders taking their own lives every day.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson called for a Parliamentary Inquiry into Suicide – the number one cause of death for people aged between 14 and 44 in Australia.
Ms Simpson said that suicide in Queensland has a death toll more than double the road toll and the attempted suicide rate is far higher with an estimated 30 suicide attempts for every actual suicide.
“Frontline workers on the Sunshine Coast have told me there are 1000 attempted suicides a year in our region alone, and across Queensland there are many thousands,” Ms Simpson said.
“We must destigmatise suicide by talking about it – but we should not normalise it by accepting it.
“Some may mistakenly see suicide as personal and autonomous decision that’s no one else’s business – but the impact on those left behind shows that’s it’s both a personal tragedy and a tragedy for the whole community.
Ms Simpson said that for every suicide there are about 135 people directly negatively impacted.
“The impact of suicide is not a ripple effect – it’s a crashing wave of devastation that hits people left behind with grief, guilt, depression and suicidal thoughts as well,” Ms Simpson said.
“When people feel so alone and broken they feel they can’t go on, so depressed they see no hope, so lacking in a personal sense of worth they feel they are a burden to others, so overwhelmed by challenges they cannot see a way through, so unwell they cannot comprehend a brighter future.
“We must all do better to let them know there is help – and to fight to make sure they get that help.
Ms Simpson said that the trend of increasing rates of suicide needs an action plan with the best strategies and coordinated focus from the highest levels of government to all areas of the community.
“Suicide Prevention Day is September 10 and R U Ok Day is on September 13 which helps provoke the conversations we must have but this topic needs more than a day of observation – it needs our urgent ongoing focus and effective coordinated action with the resources to make a difference,” Ms Simpson said.
“We need better integration of acute and community services and support so people don’t fall through the cracks particularly when they reach out for help.
“We need to ensure we are better equipped personally to have those conversations with colleagues, family and friends – but also to demand integrated, resourced solutions in our health and community sector.”
If you need of support, please contact:
Life Line – 13 11 14
Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
www.Suicidecallbackservice.org.au – free online counselling support for anyone impacted by suicide – Tel: 1300 659 467
Standby Support – Support after suicide – Central Qld, Wide Bay & Sunshine Coast – Tel: 0407 766 961
www.grieflink.org.au – web-based information resource for people who are experiencing loss