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News News Memorial Day focus on mental health, work and rising WA suicides
Media Release             29 April 2013
Memorial Day focus on mental health, work and rising WA suicides
On Workers’ Memorial Day, which commemorates those who have been killed or injured through work, UnionsWA has joined with Lifeline WA to call for a greater effort by workplaces to improve mental health and reduce the rising rate of suicides in WA.
Meredith Hammat, UnionsWA Secretary, said:
“Work related fatalities mean that once every three weeks a West Australian leaves for work never to return home.
“Workers’ Memorial Day is a solemn occasion, every life matters, but this year we particularly remember those who are often forgotten or not talked about – those who have taken their own life.
“The most recent data from the ABS has found that while Australia-wide rates of suicide have fallen, in WA the figures are rising.  There are many factors that contribute to suicide, particularly poor mental health which can be made worse as a result of workplace stress, bullying or unsociable hours of work and related loss of time with family.
“Governments, employers, unions and community groups can and should work together to put solutions in place.”
Lifeline WA CEO, Fiona Kalaf said:
“We are calling on employers and employees to be aware of mental wellbeing in the workplace.
“In any twelve month period, around one in five people will experience a mental illness and many more will experience some form of emotional crisis.
“While these episodes may not necessarily be caused by the work environment, people will carry them into the workplace.
“By talking openly about emotional wellbeing and by providing ways for employees to connect with appropriate care, we can go a long way together in reducing the stigma formerly associated with mental illness and suicide risk.”
Meredith Hammat is available for comment by contacting Philip O’Donoghue on 0417 923 029 or podonoghue@unionswa.com.au.
Lifeline WA CEO, Fiona Kalaf is available for comment by contacting Melissa Howie 0438 997 560 or MelissaHowie@lifelinewa.org.au.
Sources:
Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report, November 2012, SafeWork Australia.
3309.0 - Suicides, Australia, 2010
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/latestProducts/3309.0Media%20Release12010
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Lifeline (13 11 14), Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) or Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years) (1800 551 800)
A guide to media reporting of suicide is available at: http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media/reporting-suicide/quick-guide

On Workers’ Memorial Day, which commemorates those who have been killed or injured through work, UnionsWA has joined with Lifeline WA to call for a greater effort by workplaces to improve mental health and reduce the rising rate of suicides in WA.


Meredith Hammat, UnionsWA Secretary, said:

“Work related fatalities mean that once every three weeks a West Australian leaves for work never to return home.

“Workers’ Memorial Day is a solemn occasion, every life matters, but this year we particularly remember those who are often forgotten or not talked about – those who have taken their own life.

“The most recent data from the ABS has found that while Australia-wide rates of suicide have fallen, in WA the figures are rising.  There are many factors that contribute to suicide, particularly poor mental health which can be made worse as a result of workplace stress, bullying or unsociable hours of work and related loss of time with family.

“Governments, employers, unions and community groups can and should work together to put solutions in place.”


Lifeline WA CEO, Fiona Kalaf said:

“We are calling on employers and employees to be aware of mental wellbeing in the workplace. 

“In any twelve month period, around one in five people will experience a mental illness and many more will experience some form of emotional crisis. 

“While these episodes may not necessarily be caused by the work environment, people will carry them into the workplace. 

“By talking openly about emotional wellbeing and by providing ways for employees to connect with appropriate care, we can go a long way together in reducing the stigma formerly associated with mental illness and suicide risk.”


Meredith Hammat is available for comment
Lifeline WA CEO, Fiona Kalaf is available for comment. 

Sources:
Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report, November 2012, SafeWork Australia.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call Lifeline (13 11 14), Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) or Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years) (1800 551 800) 

A guide to media reporting of suicide is available at: Mindframe Media Guide

 
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