The Mature Australia Party proposes:

  1. That an urgent conference of the Commonwealth, States, and Territory Governments be convened to establish and jointly fund a national trauma counseling program (and Service) to act PRO-actively with the aim of reducing suicides and/or the effects of trauma-related suicides Australia-wide.
  2. That all existing State and Commonwealth funded medical health, social welfare, employment, and mental health agencies, community charitable institutions and authorities be involved in the ‘new’ coordinated national Service to achieve the above.
  3. That a primary aim of the coordinated service be to identify specific victims of depression, stress, and trauma who could be identified as prospective suicide risks, and that appropriate actions, by the Service (or as recommended by the Service) be authorised to head off (or avert) such suicides.
  4. That the staffing of the proposed Service be co-opted from existing qualified staff, and co-opted to serve on or with the new Service, in urban, city and regional communities and in rural communities throughout the country.
  5. That the agencies, departments or authorities whose staff are so co-opted collectively bear the costs of maintaining the counselling and suicide watch service from within their existing budgets where necessary. Except in identified special circumstances, where additional public or private funding might be warranted.
  6. That private companies, community services and citizens be invited to contribute financially to the operation of such service, to the extent that they are able.

COMMENTS

Mental health and suicides are major health issues in Australian society today cutting across all socio-economic, demographic, racial, ethnic, cultural and occupational backgrounds.

They affect all ages and both sexes, most families at one stage or another.  And they are on the increase.  They are serious national problems.

They are not, essentially, problems confined to (or accentuated in) specific racial or ethnic communities or groups, although they are publicly manifested, at times, in specific areas, occupations, or society groups.

But mental health, trauma, and suicide are NOT, essentially, either just about, or necessarily even mainly about problems of ethnic or cultural origins or differences, they are about PEOPLE.  All of them Australians (or people currently living in Australia).

The potential or actual causes of stress and resultant trauma (and in some cases, suicides) are many and varied.

Economic pressures personally and/or in the home, workplace issues, dysfunctional or shattered personal relationships, health issues, peer group pressures or demands.  Ethnic or cultural differences, frustrated personal ambitions, bullying (or violence) at home or in the workplace or the local community.  All these, and more can lead to undue stress, serious trauma or, in the extreme, suicide.

Early and /or adequate trauma counselling clearly is not the answer to all of these issues or