OUR SAY: Lifeline funding shortfall a national disgrace as suicide rates rise

AS suicide rates in Australia continue to skyrocket, it is about time the federal government decides what it plans to do about it.
Nanjing Night Net

The latest statistics reveal suicide as the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 to 44.

In the past 10 years suicide rates for people aged 55 to 64 increased by 54 per cent.

In reality these figures translate to lives lost, families devastated, and a pattern of tragedy that has impacted all of us in some way.

If this problem is going to be tackled head-on, it is crucial for families to overcome the stigma associated with suicide and openly discuss it.

It is also time for all of us to talk to our children about mental health and suicide.

Denying there is a problem is not helping.

Lifeline is one organisation that understands the enormity of the problem.

Lifeline councillors handled around 1 million calls from throughout Australia last year,

Many of those callers were contemplating ending their lives.

However, thanks to the Lifeline councillors’ abilities to listen, empathise and help, countless lives are saved every year.

It seems ludicrous then to see this worthy charity, which literally saves lives, gearing up to hold yet another fundraising book fair.

Surely if the federal government valued the contribution Lifeline made it would ensure it was adequately funded?

This year Lifeline Central West expects to receive 36,000 calls from people in need.

The money needed to fund the training of new counsellors and the resources needed to operate a 24-hour counselling service is substantial.

Now is the time for the rhetoric to stop and the federal government to address this national tragedy.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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