Sui­cide - the na­tional emer­gency

It’s R U OK Day on Septem­ber 13 and men­tal health is­sues are high up on the lo­cal agenda.

Monthly Chronicle - - In Your Community - Jenny Bar­lass

MP is­sues a men­tal health chal­lenge for Berowra

Fed­eral MP Ju­lian Leeser has is­sued a chal­lenge to the peo­ple in his elec­torate - help put an end to sui­cide.

With sui­cide claim­ing the lives of eight peo­ple around Aus­tralia ev­ery day, 109 tak­ing their own lives in his elec­torate in the last decade, and the MP’s own fa­ther tak­ing his life, the MP has be­come a na­tional ad­vo­cate for re­duc­ing these num­ber.

“When Par­lia­ment re­sumes, I am go­ing to stand in the House and tell them what this com­mu­nity is go­ing to do: that in a year we will have trained so many peo­ple in sui­cide aware­ness.

“I am then go­ing to chal­lenge the whole na­tion to do the same - to re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple tak­ing their own lives in the elec­torates of other MPs in the House.”

Mr Leeser was speak­ing at an event he or­gan­ised in con­junc­tion with Life­line Har­bour to Hawkes­bury, train­ing 170 peo­ple from 100 lo­cal groups into spot­ting the signs of some­one con­tem­plat­ing sui­cide, how to ad­dress the is­sues and guid­ing them to get the right help.

“I want to see ev­ery­one tonight go­ing back to their or­gan­i­sa­tions and de­cid­ing to roll out a course like the one we had tonight, over the next 12 months, and let me know so I can tell the House we had this many peo­ple trained in sui­cide aware­ness in our com­mu­nity.

“I want to make Berowra a sui­cide safe com­mu­nity,” he said.

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