ON 8 September, the Sunshine & Cooloola Coasts/Caboolture Suicide Bereavement Remembrance Day was held at Picnic Point, Maroochydore, to remember those who have been lost through suicide in the local communities and to acknowledge those bereaved family, friends and associates who have been left behind.
The annual Wesley Mission LifeForce Suicide Memorial Day service will be held on Thursday 13 September 2012 on the northern boardwalk of the Sydney Opera House beginning at 12 noon. For more information call Lifeline 13 11 14.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the suicide rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females aged 15 to 19 years is 5.9 times higher than those for non-Indigenous females, while for males the rate is 4.4 times higher.
Aboriginal people commit suicide, on average, at a far younger age than non-Aboriginal Australians, with reports of prepubescent children, some as young as eight, committing suicide.
The recent 7:30 Report program showing the tragic rate of youth suicide in the community of Mowanjum just south-east of Derby in the Kimberley region of Western Australia highlights that targeted support for students such as those programs run by Shalom Christian College is needed more than ever.
These programs are not only designed to provide Indigenous youth from across the country with a strong foundation in which to realise their hopes and aspirations for further education and a career, but to act as an essential diversion for youth seriously at risk of self-harm, youth detention, suicide and depression.
Monday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day. For more information, visit http://www.wspd.org.au/.
The 7.30 Report program "Remote community highlights Indigenous youth suicide concerns" can be viewed at: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3584900.htm
(Aboriginal and Islander viewers are warned that the video has references to people who have died.)