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Rural youth give suicide the boot.

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Kate Lundy - Rural Youth give Suicide the Boot Monday, 23 April 2001

Rural Youth give Suicide the Boot Kate Lundy - Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs

Media Statement - 20 April 2001

The tragic issues surrounding suicide by young people in rural and regional Australia will be highlighted today through the inaugural National Boot Day hosted by Australian Rural Youth (ARY).

Young people organising National Boot Day hope to raise money to provide education and suicide prevention services for young people in regional areas, in addition to raising community and political awareness about the issue.

"It is an absolute travesty that while suicide rates for males 15 to 25 years have doubled since the 1960s, youth suicide rates for towns with fewer than 4000 people have increased 12 fold," the Shadow Minister for Youth Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, said today.

"I have spoken to many young people who have expressed concerns about their ability and/or that of their peers, to cope with the pressures associated with living in regional Australia. This has included their ability to maintain supportive relationships with family and partners, feel part of their community, have a sense of purpose and career pathway, access mental and physical health services, and develop problem-solving and coping skills.

"The young people involved in Australian Rural Youth organisations around the country should be congratulated for their efforts in highlighting and addressing the impact of youth suicide on their peers and communities.

"It is imperative that policy-makers support initiatives such as National Boot Day and act to reduce suicide and suicidal behaviors in young Australians, while providing the infrastructure to enhance protective factors," Senator Lundy concluded.

Donations can be made to any branch of National Australia Bank Account number 529-257-664, BSB 087-007 and by purchasing a National Boot Day badge ($2 each) on sale from Rural Youth Clubs around Australia. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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