Youth Focus is only too aware of the far-reaching and devastating impacts of youth suicide.
We exist to prevent youth suicide and to champion the mental health and wellbeing of young West Australians aged between 12 and 25.
This year across Western Australia, we’re seeing an increase in the number of young people accessing our services, compared to last year.
The three most common issues young people come to us with are anxiety, suicidal ideation, and depression.
While it’s positive that more young people are accessing our services to help navigate mental health challenges, it’s vital that we continue to promote awareness of mental health and encourage help-seeking behaviour.
Tragically, suicide remains the leading cause of death amongst young people aged between 15 and 24.
Access to up-to-date figures and information around youth suicide is currently limited, as suicide prevention expert Nicole Hill, from Telethon Kids’ Institute, told the West Australian newspaper.
Dr Hill said children as young as 10 had died by suicide in Australia, however, because data was so difficult to obtain in WA, if there had been any increase in suicide rates in younger teens it would not be observed for some time.
Mental Health Commission Acting Commissioner Lindsay Hale said they were working on developing a WA suicide monitoring system. Youth Focus supports the Mental Health Commission in their development of a real-time suicide monitoring system, as we believe it would play an important role in detecting significant trends and emerging at-risk groups.
We believe that the earlier mental health challenges are identified, the more chance we have of reducing the risk of suicide.
Around three quarters of mental illness occurs in people before they’re 25. Getting the right support can have lifelong benefits for a young person’s health, social connections, education and future career.
At Youth Focus, we provide a ranges of mental health services, all tailored to the needs of young people, as we believe that early intervention is key to preventing death by suicide.
We urge anyone who notices changes in their mental health, or in the mental health of a friend or family member, to reach out to Youth Focus for support.
- Feeling unhappy, down or stressed a lot of the time
- Can’t deal with school or are finding it difficult to concentrate
- Losing interest and fun in activities that you once enjoyed
- Change in appetite, eating or weight
- Tiredness, lack of energy and motivation
- Are having difficulties with your family or friends
- Change in sleeping
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Are being bullied, hurt or harassed
- Unwanted thoughts and fears
- Hurting yourself as a way of coping with difficult feelings
- Need someone to talk to
If you’re feeling this way and need someone to talk to urgently, please reach out to:
- For people over 18, contact Mental Health Emergency Response Line: 1300 555 788
- For people under 18, contact CAMHS Crisis Connect: 1800 048 636
- For people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Straight Islander, contact 13YARN: 13 92 76
- For people who live in regional areas, contact Rurallink: 1800 552 002
- Lifeline: 13 11 14