Preventing suicide

Denise Hostin  (Youth Counsellor)
Denise Hostin (Youth Counsellor)

For mental health week last week, the group shared some shocking statistics.

Suicide is responsible for more deaths of young West Australians than road traffic accidents and seven out of 10 suicides are by young men ” making this the most common way for young men to die.

Clinical services manager of Youth Focus Chris Harris said that men experiencing a sense of isolation and disconnectedness have an increased risk of suicide.

‘We look at getting young men treatment instead of looking at how to help males,’ he said.

‘Males look at getting help as a weakness.

‘So we look at new innovative forms of innovative interventions and how we can build resilience.’

Dr Harris said they are not seeing a statistical increase in suicide, rather a plateau.

‘Now it becomes about how we bring these numbers down,’ he said.

‘High risk groups are young indigenous males, young people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual and young males.’

The majority of young people Youth Focus sees are exhibiting depressive symptoms, self-harm and experiencing family related issues.

Parents need to look out for changes in their child, including their behaviour and how they act socially, Dr Harris said.

They then need to sit down and ask are you OK? This is imperative as the onset of 75 per cent of mental illness is during adolescence.