It would be a great achievement, but we should drop the bumper-sticker promise to halve the number of suicides in 10 years

Leo D'Angelo Fisher

There’s something distasteful about politicians promising to halve the number of suicides in 10 years. That’s the commitment of the Victorian government. It’s also the policy that federal Labor leader Bill Shorten took to the electorate at this year’s election. But can it really be that simple? Can the tragic epidemic of suicide be solved as an equation? In just 10 years?

Despite the epic dimensions of the suicide crisis in Australia – each year 2000-plus Australians end their own lives – politicians have mostly looked the other way. But suicide has finally made it on to the political agenda, thanks to the tireless efforts of mental health activists.

It is just like politicians to reduce suicide to a mindless slogan, a mathematical fancy, oblivious to the agonising and very personal hell that each case of suicide represents. We cannot know what torment tears at the heart and mind of…

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9 thoughts on “It would be a great achievement, but we should drop the bumper-sticker promise to halve the number of suicides in 10 years

  1. jritchie0891 says:

    I guess on the plus side at least your politicians are discussing it. In America our two candidates for President are more busy trying to dig up dirt on each other than actually address the issues that are of concern to citizens. It’s the same problem all over the world though: “I’ll say whatever sounds like it will get me elected”. Maybe one day we’ll all move past this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nam H Nguyen says:

    I don’t think solving depression is that simple and mr. Shorten is trivialising the issue.
    It’s a throw away line that doesn’t mean anything. It’s a populist stance designed to garner votes. It’s why I didn’t vote that way for the election.

    Solving the depression issue means one of two things. Sheltering the vulnerable or building resilience – actions that are mutually exclusive. You either teach resilience and lose a few on the way or make our youth increasingly more vulnerable.


  3. Stetson says:

    But good luck with that!
    Not that simple, suicide is a persons inability to cope with life. Numbers show the ones who “don’t tall about it.” end up going through with it. They feel the HELP is insiffiecient, thus they end all means.
    I for one would use a bungee cord around my neck, id keep “almost dying.”


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