No one solution to tackling youth suicide

We are calling on our political parties to address youth suicide and mental health issues in regional Queensland.
We are calling on our political parties to address youth suicide and mental health issues in regional Queensland. Contributed

LABOR says it has made three sizeable commitments to youth suicide prevention while slamming the LNP's record on the subject.

The LNP says there is no one solution to tackling youth suicide and has vowed to support youth in regional areas doing it tough through a distressing unemployment situation.

Both parties respond to questions from this newspaper as it reveals the tragic truth about mental health among young people in regional areas in the next instalment of the Fair Go For Our Kids campaign.

A Griffith University study found 142 regional Queenslanders aged between 15 and 24 years killed themselves between 2011 and 2013.

The study found in regional areas 18 people aged 15-24 died for every 100,000 people.

In remote parts of the state, that climbed to 52 suicides for every 100,000 people. In Brisbane, there were 14 suicides for every 100,000 people aged 15-24.

We are calling on our political parties to address these shocking youth suicide statistics.

Health Minister Cameron Dick said, as treasurer, Tim Nicholls cut mental health funding for the first time in Queensland's history and he imposed cuts on Queensland Health that led to the Barrett Adolescent Centre closing without replacement.

"This decision was followed by the tragic death by suicide of three former patients," he said.


Women and youth shadow minister Ros Bates said there was no one solution to tackling youth suicide.

"The LNP will continue to support the great work our youth services do across regional Queensland to engage young people and work to prevent youth suicide," she said.

"A future LNP government will continue to fund existing services and work to improve the outcomes for young people across our regions.

"Sadly, under Labor we have a youth jobs crisis causing significant distress, with a youth unemployment rate of almost 60 per cent in outback Queensland."

Mr Dick argued the Palaszczuk government was committed to suicide prevention through a $9.6 million program over the past three years to train 5000 emergency department staff to better respond to suicide and, in particular, youth suicide.

He said this followed the advocacy of Kerrie Keepa, who lost her son to suicide and campaigned for better responses in hospital emergency departments.

Mr Dick said Labor also released a Suicide Prevention Action Plan in 2015 and provided $1 million in 2016-17 for a partnership with the QRL and the NRL to help deliver suicide prevention within grassroots rugby league clubs. - NewsRegional

Topics:  fairgofourkids labor lnp mental health qldelection2017 suicide youth suicide

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