OPINION: Suicide deserves discussion

IN my early training days as a raw cadet in Sydney I was told some simple rules that I had to obey. Amongst them was that you never reported on a suicide and if you ever did you could never detail how that person took their life.

And so it has been that rarely since that day have I ever covered a suicide.

I have heard of many and before the scanner in the newsroom finally went silent we realised that the majority of deaths we were hearing about were of people taking their own lives.

The one suicide I did cover was of a father from Marsden.

He had gone missing and his daughter approached me pleading for help in locating his body so she could give him a proper send-off.

Two weeks later his body was found by some young boys near a local creek.

That story took a terrible twist when the teenage daughter also decided to end her life.

I will never forget attending that family funeral with the coffin of the daughter laying alongside her father's.

I am talking about suicide today because recent figures have revealed an alarming increase in the number of young people taking their own lives.

Lifeline has taken action on this and has launched an online campaign seeking a million signatures calling on the Federal Government to double funding to suicide prevention.

We should all go to the Lifeline website and support this initiative.

If you need help coping, Lifeline can be reached on 13 11 14.


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