Taking mental health seriously

Taking mental health seriously

Simon Harvey’s recent article That feeling - powerlessness discusses apartment developments along Macaulay Rd in Kensington.

Simon describes feeling powerless in trying to protect the amenity and liveability of Kensington in light of this development.

At the beginning of the article, he invites readers to follow his journey along Macaulay Rd using Google Maps, or by actually doing the walk, stating that “it is actually quite confronting (Lifeline 13 11 14).”

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing emotional distress with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

While Simon is clearly passionate about Kensington, referencing Lifeline and its crisis support number in relation to the development of apartment buildings is jaw-dropping.

Data published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that between 2018-2020, suicide was the leading underlying cause of death in Australia for people aged 15 to 44. It was the third ranked underlying cause of death for people aged 45 to 64.

The daily death toll from suicide is 8.6 Australians which is more than double the road toll.

Seventy-five per cent of those who take their own lives are male. Almost half of all Australian adults will face mental ill-health during their lives.

While the data is sobering, it doesn’t speak to the impact on individuals, families, friends and communities.

I’m familiar with seeing Lifeline’s crisis support number printed or displayed in stories about mental health and suicide.

This is the first time I’ve seen it used out of context. Hopefully it’s also the last.


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