Kids Helpline gives children and young people choices, support and someone to listen.
Kids Helpline gives children and young people choices, support and someone to listen. Boni Holmes

Calls to prevent youth suicide

SUICIDE is the leading cause of death of Australian children and young people, accounting for more deaths than motor vehicles.

Kids Helpline research revealed this, as they call for the Australian community to change perceptions around seeking help for suicide.

CEO Tracy Adams said Australia needs a specific, youth suicide prevention strategy.

"Strategies to reduce stigma and to create a help-seeking culture are required,” she said.

Suicide related contacts to Kid's helpline have risen by 22 per cent since 2012, and made up 16 per cent of all counselling contacts in 2017 for young people aged five to 25.

More outreach services and professional counselling should be accessible to young people, she said.

"Early intervention is key to prevention and to supporting lifelong mental health and wellbeing,” Ms Adams said.

Strategies to address youth suicide must include families, as parental support is crucial for children seeking help, Ms Adams said.

Community and health support organisations must also work together for a solution, she said.

"The good news is suicide is preventable if we, the Australian community, work together,” Ms Adams said.

Free Kids Helpline counselling services can be contacted by 1800 55 1800.

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