House debates

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Statements by Members

Youth Suicide

1:37 pm

Photo of Vince ConnellyVince Connelly (Stirling, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Almost all of us have been touched by the terrible tragedy of suicide. In my family, my sister Michelle lost her husband, all-round great bloke and legend Paul, to suicide. Suicide leaves so many of us hurting, struggling and questioning, and there are almost never any answers. Surely the deepest tragedy of all is when our youth, custodians of the future, take their own lives. It is of deep concern to all of us in this place and around the country that the biggest killer of Australians aged 15 to 24 is suicide. As a father of three teenage children, I've been staggered by some of the stories my kids bring home from school about classmates who are struggling with mental health, some of them self-harming and experiencing suicidal ideation.

Today I congratulate those who are fighting to save these young lives. This includes Youth Insearch, with their End Youth Suicide campaign. These guys have online content covering how to prevent youth suicide and raising awareness. I encourage us all to share that content.

Our Morrison government is also steadfastly committed to shifting the dial on mental health and suicide prevention. I'm grateful to be a founding member of the Select Committee on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. We will meet for the first time next week. It's time to end youth suicide, and we all have a role to play.