The 2011 HSC results have just come out. For many it is the culmination of 2 years of hard work and a ticket to the university place of their dreams. For others it is a sore disappointment, with scores not high enough to win them that prized place.

Image Source: Youthbeyondblue

Kids with good resilience skills will be far better equipped to adjust to the many changes life is about to hand them, however some young people are not so robust and will struggle with depression and other associated mental health issues, including suicide.

Shocking figures have emerged from Victoria recently showing that a student attempts suicide for each week of the school year.

Victorian Education Minister Mr Dixon, himself a former secondary school principal, has alerted the nation to youth suicide because “the best clinical advice is that we can’t turn a blind eye to it and pretend the problem doesn’t exist. I had been made aware of alerts coming into us, where schools had reported incidents regarding children self-harming and threatening to self-harm.”

Headspace CEO Chris Tanti and Generation Next speaker said “As a community we continue to be privately devastated whilst publicly we continue to shy away from the discussion. We report the carnage on our roads with meticulous accuracy and campaign endlessly to change the story. Why should suicide be any different?”

As 2011 draws to a close this year has seen 122 reports of students threatening to commit suicide or suffering as the result of another person’s suicide. This is nearly double the figures of 2008 (77 cases reported).

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, youth suicide rates look like this:

  • In 2009 72 males aged 15 to 19 died by suicide (9.3 per 100 000).
  • In 2009 33 females aged 15 to 19 years died by suicide (5.3 per 100 000).
  • Suicide in children under the age of 15 years is a rare event in Australia.*

Mental health issues including depression, suicidal tendencies and stress among young people seems to be on the rise. According to the Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, 25% of young people will experience a mental health problem over the next year.

If you or anyone you know needs help contact:
on 13 11 14 (24-hour help line)  
SANE Australia on 1800 18 SANE (7263)   
Beyondblue Info Line 1300 22 4636   
* Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Catalogue 3303.0 Causes of Death Australia, 2009, released Tuesday 3 May 2011.

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: AP Australian Bureau of Statistics. Headspace