A social worker asked me the other day if I had thought of killing myself.

I was really taken back.

No, was my answer; of course not, was my response.

She went on to inform me that I was unusual because most people think about taking their lives.

New statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) seems to back up her claim. Sadly, 2,864 people took their lives in 2014 which was an increase of nearly 13.5 per cent from the previous year.

This equates to almost 8 a day and 1 every 3 hours; and the figures seem to be climbing.

Fora progressive country, Australia’s suicide statistics are appalling to say the least.

The figures were released by Lifeline who are pleading with the government to increase funding to prevent deaths by suicide.

Many of the deaths are of young people who were depressed as children.

At first I didn’t understand why.

What could cause depression in a child? What kind of negative situations do children deal with? Not enough ice cream? Having to go to bed early? Eating greens?

I know children suffer from bullying and have to deal with broken homes, I did myself, but are things so bad they consider taking their own lives.

I was shocked when I started doing research.

Not only do children think about suicide, toddlers as young as three years have been diagnosed with depression.

Children are entering teenage-hood so ill prepared to deal with modern life that suicide is considered, by them, to be a reasonable choice.

I, like many people, didn’t fully understand what it means to live with mental ill health.

I did some more research and discovered that children and teenagers lack resilience.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back when things don’t go right.

It’s being able to look past what is happening now and instead, focus ahead and believe things are bound to get better.

I also learnt resilience can be taught.

Children become resilient when they aren’t given everything they want when they want it and are allowed to examine how they feel after a negative thing occurs in their lives rather than parents trying to ‘fix’ things straight away.

Resilience comes from being supported in a meaningful life through hardships in a supportive environment.

Lifeline Australia’s CEO, Pete Shmigel, stated that as a community we cannot accept this endless and unnecessary loss of life.

We can all make a contribution in our own ways. We all have our own talents and skills to contribute.

Let’s do it.

If you need help please contact Lifeline in your capital city.

If not, consider reaching out in a simple way to help someone else.One small, almost insignificant act can make a big difference to someone secretly crying out for help.

It might seem like no one cares but someone always does, and we need to show people in need this is the case.

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