Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed suicide rates are at a 13 year high.
As the school term resumes and students approach HSC trials it is important to reach out and offer support to those who may be suffering from mental illness, depression or bullying.
Suicide is now the leading cause of death for people aged 15-44 years old.
It's twice the national road toll, claiming on average seven lives per day.
Jessica Graham’s 14-year-old sister Jessica Tolhurst took her life in December in circumstances clouded by bullying and depression.
Ms Graham wishes her sister had reached out for help.
“A lot of the time when someone is suicidal they don't reach out for help,” she said.
“The main problem is lying. They will always tell you they are okay.
“They suffer in silence, thinking they are the burden or the problem.
“They think that it's a burden to ask for help, but the damage it does when you don’t ask for help and you just leave is a million, trillion times worse.”
“They think that it's a burden to ask for help, but the damage it does when you don’t ask for help and you just leave is a million, trillion times worse.”- Jessica Graham
Former Mental Health Advisory Chief Adjunct Professor John Mendoza said the rate of suicide and self-harm has reached a national emergency.
A review he led found in the 10 years leading to 2014, suicide rose almost 20 per cent from 10.4 deaths per 100,000 people to 12 deaths each year.
"If we had any other cause of death increase by that magnitude we would have a very assertive, nationally co-ordinated response to it," he said.
Mission Australia’s 2015 Youth Survey revealed that 12.9% of participating young people from NSW aged between 15 and 19 were extremely or very concerned about suicide.
“These findings highlight the vulnerability of our young people and the need for greater supports to help them on their journey into adulthood,” Mission Australia Program Manager for Nowra and Moruya Community Services, Liz O’Connell said.
“Our door is always open to young people who might need assistance or simply someone to talk to.
“Our local Mission Australia Case Workers will link young people with the services they need, whether that be referral to a local hospital or suicide prevention service.”
If you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness, bullying or depression please reach out to friends, parents, school teachers or contact one of the telephone counselling services below:
Alternatively, drop into Youth Centre at 80 Vincent Street Ulladulla for a confidential chat.
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