Five Suicides in Seven Days Shows Need for Swift Action; Christensen Calls for Urgent Funding for Mental Health

Article excerpt

Kate Bastable

and Janessa Ekert

kate.bastable@dailymercury.com.au

Help is just a phone call away

Lifeline: 131114

Suicide Call Back Service: 1300659467

Kids Helpline: 1800551800

MensLine Australia: 1300789978

MACKAY is reeling after a cluster of suicides during the last week.

Police say five people died by suicide and another 10 attempted or threatened to take their own lives during the seven days to Monday.

They were aged between 14 and 64.

Member for Dawson George Christensen said he was alarmed by the news, particularly by the death of a child.

It highlighted the urgent need for more mental health services in Mackay, he said.

C[pounds sterling]It's alarming to hear that because there doesn't seem to be a trigger which has caused that scenario,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]It's part and parcel of why we need to work towards getting adequate mental health services into the region.C[yen]

Last year, one of the country's leading experts on mental health and suicide, Prof John Mendoza, told the Daily Mercury Mackay had a higher-than-average suicide rate of 13 to 14 per 100,000 people a year. …