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Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Page: 9385

Ms LANDRY (Capricornia) (13:56): Recently I had the chance to greet the R U OK Bus when it visited Rockhampton in my electorate of Capricornia. This bright yellow coach is travelling Australia to acknowledge the sad issue of suicide. The aim is to encourage people to check on their mates and ask them: 'Are you okay?' Recently a hospital executive in my electorate made this observation:

We spend millions on advertising to reduce road deaths. Yet suicide rates in some Central Queensland health regions are three times higher than the road toll.

The Australian government is pleased to fund the R U OK tour through our National Suicide Prevention Program. Suicide is devastating for individuals, families and communities. Locally, FIFO workers, young people and drought-affected farmers have fallen victim to suicide. Statistics show that there are over 2,500 suicide deaths in Australia a year. A new national goal has been set to reduce the suicide rate by 50 per cent by 2023. Meaningful conversations can protect our friends, colleagues and family from suicide. September 11 marks National R U OK? Day. I urge you all to spread the word and get everyone to ask a mate: 'Are you okay'?