Suicide – the national emergency

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

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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