Young Australians are more likely to take their own life than die in a motor vehicle accident, with suicide the leading cause of death for Australians between the age of 15 and 44.
I acknowledge all the organisations in the local electorate who work to support young people with their mental health, including Headspace Ashfield. Between the terrible bushfires and lockdown, education disruptions and economic downturn caused by Covid, 2020 has been a difficult year and young Australians are feeling more pressure than ever before.
Some mental health services are reporting an increase in calls for help of between 20‑40%. Kids Helpline reported a 17% increase in emergency interventions for young people intending to commit suicide compared to 2019. Our school system plays a vital role in supporting young people struggling with their mental health, with half of all mental health conditions starting by 14 years of age.
I acknowledge calls from the Teachers Federation, the Mental Health Coordinating Council, Professor Pat McGorry and others that the Government provide mental health first aid training to teachers to better equip them to identify mental health risks and to adopt a school counsellor to student ratio of 1:500.