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New Bid To Halt Youth Suicide

MENTAL health authorities are hoping a new information kit may lead to a decrease in youth suicides in Western Australia.
The kit contains information such as common myths about suicide, statistics, contact numbers and web links, plus tips on how to recognise if someone is suicidal and how to help someone in distress.
The Understanding Youth Suicide Information Kit is aimed at helping youths and their carers to identify suicidal behaviours and direct them to appropriate services.
It will be made available to teenagers through schools, youth services and the internet.
The kit was compiled by the Suicide Prevention Ministerial Council, the Office of Children and Youth and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.
"It is tragic that some young people feel so much pain and so isolated that they have suicidal thoughts," said Professor Sven Silburn, from the ministerial council.
"It is important to remember that few people want their life to end, rather they want the pain and difficulties they are experiencing to stop.
"If we can educate people to become more aware of the warning signs, we can intervene and offer help earlier."
Prof Silburn said warning signs of suicidal behaviour included lack of interest in the future or expressions of having no future, significant personal changes such as a decline in school performance and risk-taking behaviour.

AAP (17-4-2005)

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