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Families bereaved by suicide share their stories



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SENATOR JAN MCLUCAS SHADOW MINISTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

FAMILIES BEREAVED BY SUICIDE SHARE THEIR STORIES

A delegation of families bereaved by suicide visited Parliament House today to send a powerful message on the need for immediate action on mental health system reform to stop the tragedy of suicide.

The delegation, led by mental health expert Professor John Mendoza, met with Senators and Members across party lines to talk about their experiences of suicide and how they’ve been impacted by the untimely death of a loved one.

Labor’s mental health spokesperson Senator Jan McLucas said while the personal stories resonated with parliamentarians, people living with mental illness and their families simply cannot wait any longer for action to be taken to prevent suicide.

“These brave families travelled to Canberra today to make it clear that concerted efforts towards mental health system reform are needed now, not in 12 months or two years’ time,” Senator McLucas said.

“But until the Government responds to the report of the mental health review and engages properly with the mental health sector and people experiencing mental illness, we’ll continue to face a system in paralysis and more and more families in crisis.

“Bipartisan support for a national suicide prevention plan is needed immediately and that is why I invite the Health Minister Sussan Ley to work with us on developing a strategy that will stop so many people, particularly young people, from needlessly taking their own lives.

“Our health system rightly responds immediately to physical pain which could cause death but responds extremely poorly to psychological pain and acute and episodic mental illness which in many cases leads to death.

“We absolutely cannot let suicide continue to be the leading cause of death among our young people otherwise a growing number of families right across Australia will be affected by this terrible but preventable tragedy.”

MONDAY, 25 MAY 2015

MEDIA CONTACT: MELINDA EADES 0408 743 457