Ljiljanna Ravlich

Ljiljanna Ravlich

Minister for Local Government; Racing and Gaming; Multicultural Interests and Citizenship; Government Enterprises; Minister Assisting the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure; Goldfields-Esperance; Youth

    Information pack aims to save lives

    1/11/2007 12:35 PM

    More people take their own lives every year in Western Australia than are killed in motor vehicle accidents.

    Youth Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich today highlighted that stark reality when she released a new information and support pack developed to help friends, relatives and community members, understand how to better support young people affected by suicidal thoughts.

    The pack contains 14 information sheets, which examine the risks and explore ways that people can help through communication, providing positive, loving support and accessing further assistance.

    Ms Ravlich said the resource would help people become more aware of the warning signs.

    “Research has shown that suicide is prevalent among young people, but it’s a much broader issue which affects our whole community,” she said.

    “On average there are over 200 deaths from suicide in WA each year - that's higher than the road death toll.

    “These tragic losses leave more than 2,000 people grieving and many more deeply affected.

    “We cannot always stop someone from taking their own life, but knowledge of the warning signs and risk factors may help parents, friends and families to intervene and take action.”

    Talking about suicide can be an indicator of risk but there are also less clear signs like self-harm attempts, significant changes in mood, personal habits and impulsive behaviour or disinterest in life or the future.

    “If someone talks about suicide it’s important to listen and acknowledge how they’re feeling,” the Minister said.

    “Stay calm and show them that you’re willing to help by offering love, concern, affection and support.

    “One of the best things you can do is help the person get professional help as soon as possible.”

    Professor Sven Silburn, Clinical Psychologist and Chair of the WA Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention said the tragic loss of suicide can have a profound and lasting effect on the person’s family, friends and the local community.

    “It’s so important that parents and carers educate themselves to become more aware of what’s happening so they can identify the issues and intervene earlier,” Professor Silburn said.

    “The information in this support pack could help save many lives and I really hope that it will help prevent further tragedies.”

    The Office for Youth teamed up with the Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention and the Friends of the Institute for Child Heath Research (Margaret River) to develop the support pack and fill a need in the community for up-to-date information.

    “It’s essential that we work together to provide appropriate information and raise awareness to address the underlying causes of suicide and self harm,” Ms Ravlich said.

    “The Carpenter Government has committed $173million to progress the Government’s Mental Health Strategy initiatives to improve access to a range of community and hospital-based services.”

    The publication is available online at http://www.childrenandyouth.wa.gov.au or by contacting the Office for Youth on (08) 6217 8400.

    Minister's office - 9213 6800