PREVENTABLE: Suicide is a huge concern in our community and has risen 8% over five years.
PREVENTABLE: Suicide is a huge concern in our community and has risen 8% over five years. Istockphoto

'All young people in need just want someone to talk to'

SOMETIMES young people just need someone to talk to, to get them through rough patches in life, 16-year-old Alex Robbie says.

The rate of suicide in young women aged 15-24 jumped by 50% in 2014, but the Mackay Christian College Year 11 student says suicide shouldn't be the solution when young people like herself faced stress and pressure.

"There is always someone to talk to and to be a listening ear, even if it doesn't feel like it," Alex said.

The increase in suicide for girls was in sharp contrast to the 2% increase recorded for young men in the same age bracket.

Young men still made up three-quarters of the 362 suicides in the age group in 2014, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and their data for that period also reveals that suicide was the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.

"Honestly, just be there for someone when they are going through a rough patch in life, as I feel that it's very important to show someone you really care about them," Alex said.

190516 Mackay Christen College year 11 student Alex Robbie, 16, said suicide isn't the solution when young people like herself face stress and pressure. photo contributed
190516 Mackay Christen College year 11 student Alex Robbie, 16, said suicide isn't the solution when young people like herself face stress and pressure. photo contributed Contributed

"I currently have a couple of friends going through a difficult time and I believe when a friend opens up to you about their suicidal thoughts they don't want to hear the same reassuring comments like, 'it's going to be okay' or 'you're being silly' over and over again.

"All they really want is for someone to listen because you really don't know what is going through a person's mind or how they are truly feeling about the situation."

The Grapevine Group is a locally founded grassroots volunteer group which raises funds and awareness for suicide prevention in the Mackay region.

Grapevine Group chairman Laurence Manning said suicide was an important issue that needed to be discussed within the community.

"Suicide needs to be taken seriously and it needs to be talked about," Mr Manning said.

"The Grapevine Group offers training programs dedicated to explaining how you can tell if someone is thinking suicidal thoughts, including free safe talks."

Mr Manning said young people could be affected predominately through "stress and pressure".

"Social media can also certainly play a role in suicides, and that is something we are working on understanding, but the key things people need to look out for are changes in behaviour and becoming withdrawn."

GET HELP

If you need to talk phone:

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • MensLine: 1300 789 978
  • Beyondblue: 1300 224 636
  • If you're in danger call 000
  • Headspace Mackay 4898 2200
  • Grapevine group chairman Laurence Manning, Ph 4957 6610
  • Diane Gillespie at Lifeline - 4944 2300

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