I rise to speak on something a little bit more sober in its content and certainly a darn sight more factual.
According to the World Health Organisation, globally, a life is lost to suicide every 40 seconds.
What is different about suicide, compared to other public health challenges, is that it can be fought on a local, micro and personal level.
Awareness is the first step and that’s why I’d like to highlight the critically important work being done by the Dr Edward Koch Foundation.
For 20 years, the Foundation has been offering suicide prevention workshops, bereavement counselling, health research and development, disaster recovery support, drug rehabilitation and more.
This week, in Cairns, it is hosting the 2015 Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Conference.
Professionals from around Australia and the world are getting the latest information on methods and outcomes for suicide and self-harm prevention, especially for young people, the elderly, veterans and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
I’d like to commend Dulcie Bird, CEO of the Dr Edward Koch Foundation, for her outstanding work over the last 20 years, together with that of current and previous board members — of which I am proud to say I was in the past — volunteers, sponsors, partners and service clubs.
We must focus on relationships, and on strengthening connections between individuals and communities if we want to reduce the rates of suicide.
Congratulations again to the Dr Edward Koch Foundation.