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If the government really cared about suicide prevention, they would look at what causes it

Much has been made of the government’s budget commitment towards tackling mental health needs and suicide prevention. Whilst the election influx of funding will no doubt be welcome, it is hard to believe that this government really wants to address the issue.

If they were serious about their concern, they would look at who the most vulnerable groups are and what the contributing factors might be.

We know the LGBTQI community suffer a higher risk of suicide yet this government vehemently opposed the Safe Schools anti-bullying program, put us through a divisive survey where we were asked to decide if our fellow Australians should be allowed to marry, and then formed a committee to determine how religious people could continue to discriminate against gays.

Indigenous Australians are also a high-risk group. The Black Dog Institute identifies drug and alcohol abuse, poor living circumstances and trauma as contributing factors and suggests that protective factors that make us more resilient and that can reduce suicidal behaviour include supportive social relationships, a sense of control, a sense of purpose, family harmony, effective help-seeking and the availability of positive connections to good health services.

Instead of this, the government has imposed the cashless welfare card on Indigenous communities based on their postcode rather than their individual circumstances. Indigenous people are taken from their families and incarcerated for minor misdemeanours like unpaid fines. Community support groups have had their funding slashed. Remote communities have had services cut because living on their traditional land is now described as an unaffordable “lifestyle choice”.

Overall, the age-specific suicide rate in 2017 was highest in men aged 85 or above (32.8 per 100,000), which has been the age group with the highest rate since 2011. Yet the religious influence on government has made discussion about dying with dignity one fraught with a lack of understanding.

Many people are terrified about the idea of going into an aged care facility but the government steadfastly refuses to regulate about staff qualifications and staff to resident ratios. Accessing home care packages that would allow people to remain in their own homes for longer is a tortuous process.

Tragic cases of children committing suicide highlight the dangers of bullying yet the highest office-bearers in the land dutifully line up each week to be bullied by the bullies-in-chief, Ray Hadley and Alan Jones. The language used by the government and the behaviour displayed in Question Time is an appalling example of shouting and intimidation rather than the respectful debate we should expect from our leaders.

An estimated 400 Australians with gambling-related problems commit suicide every year but this government, as one of its first actions on taking office, decided to wind back the already inadequate gambling reforms introduced by the Gillard government. The Tasmanian government actually made keeping poker machines a campaign issue in the last election. They would rather appease their donors and rake in their share of the profits than protect their constituents.

Poverty can also be a contributing factor in self-harm yet the government steadfastly refuses to increase welfare payments to a basic subsistence level.

Mahatma Gandhi once said that ‘The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members’.

Unfortunately, we have a government who is more focused on wealth creation than on protection and support for those who need it the most.

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28 comments

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  1. Jon Chesterson

    Kaye, I am a mental health care professional, have been all my life for 42 years and have seen this unfold and fold several times – You are so right in making all these intuitive connections. I have often said the same thing, that the government including NSW, not just Federal have never really been interested in the truth, the source, the cause, the precipitants, the vulnerable groups, and consequently a solution, a strategy with proper funding directed at the correct heart and nature of the problem. All they are interested in is getting re-elected when this issue becomes a more sensitive public issue. All they are interested is being seen to do something about it so they can boast, ‘what a good boy am I’. Both the Federal and NSW State government are disingenuous, and have been almost as long as I can remember, and certainly back as far as the beginning of the Howard years, the early to mid-nineties. We had the National Mental Health Strategy in the early nineties – there was a glimmer of hope, but it was allowed to be watered down and a decade later it was in serious drift and disrepair. Ever since then, mental health and suicide has been a political football only ever rolled out when public criticism re-emerges. And right now we have a Liberal government in NSW and at national level that simply doesn’t give a shit, two governments so pathological they couldn’t even see the mental health in their own constitution and political lives let alone the growing needs and struggles of every day Australians.

  2. Kronomex

    I’m hoping that if/when (not holding my breath in hope however) Labor gets in that one of the first things they do is rip out and crush that abomination named the Indue Cashless Welfare Card which Scummo and Crony Co. Inc. wants to put just about every welfare recipient onto whether they want it or not.

    Also an election is looming so the LNP has suddenly become…gag…choke…heave…the “caring party” again.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Jon,

    It flabbergasts me that we argue about whether rich people should be able to be paid refunds on their excess franking credits and whether they should be able to pay no tax (including the medicare levy) because of family trusts and other such tax minimisation schemes when over three million Australians are living in poverty and over 116,000 are homeless.

    We treat addiction as a crime rather than a health issue. We would rather lock people up, at far greater financial and social cost, than help them.

    At times, I despair at our insensitive and uncaring greed and the sheer stupidity of reactionary rather than preventative policy.

  4. Kaye Lee

    Kronomex,

    Newly rebranded caring ScoMo “choked back tears” as he announced a Royal Commission into the disability sector.

    “That has always meant a lot to me. They deserve our respect. This is so above politics I can’t tell you.”

    That would require us forgetting that…

    “In the dying days of last year’s cheerless parliamentary sessions, on December 4, Morrison’s Coalition senators were instructed to vote against a proposal for a royal commission into the abuse and neglect of the disabled. In the first week of Parliament this year, on February 14, they got exactly the same direction. And why? The idea came from the Greens. Reduced to minority government and desperate to avoid a defeat, it used delaying tactics that meant there would be no vote on a royal commission in the first week of sittings.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/off-to-an-election-with-a-royal-commission-that-s-above-politics-20190405-p51b7q.html

  5. Alcibiades

    The Black Dog Institute identifies drug and alcohol abuse, poor living circumstances and trauma as contributing factors and suggests that protective factors that make us more resilient and that can reduce suicidal behaviour include supportive social relationships, a sense of control, a sense of purpose, family harmony, effective help-seeking and the availability of positive connections to good health services.

    Crucially missed … community acceptance, especially being personally treated with dignity & respect, fundamental social/human/legal rights respected. Being openly valued & accepted, ‘of worth’ regardless of race, creed, colour or circumstances as a brother or sister in our larger family, Humanity. True acknowledgement, recognition of & therefore managed conduct/actions regarding real ‘vulnerability’ & self-harm/life ‘risk’, particularly when there is an enormous ‘indifferent’ & officious State/Authority/Bureaucratic power/resources imbalance extant.

    Overall, the age-specific suicide rate in 2017 was highest in men aged 85 or above (32.8 per 100,000), which has been the age group with the highest rate since 2011. Yet the religious influence on government has made discussion about dying with dignity one fraught with a lack of understanding.

    Many people are terrified about the idea of going into an aged care facility …

    Those forced into aged care, not an insignificant number by their own progeny for ‘convenience’ or to hasten the inevitable, a form of aged abuse, men especially, torn from their social supports, forced into underfunded/under-resourced or especially ruthlessly operated ‘for profit’ care, often become lethally severely depressed, treated patronisingly & condescendingly as children, in a meaningless existence of rise, meal times, rest, with not even the least rights of trivial freedoms or individual choice.

    In the past, when one was physically still able, veterans one would visit, would quite literally desperately openly beg, plead, in tears, to be permitted to, pass on, rather than forced to endure the unendurable. Crushingly heart breaking.

    For many, admission to aged care is the equivalent of a death sentence, many pass away within 18 to 24 months from admission, whereas, even living alone in a residential setting, they would likely live on ‘statistically’ for another 5-10 years otherwise. The loss of heart, the loss of the will to live.

    Many people are terrified about the idea of going into an aged care facility but the government steadfastly refuses to regulate about staff qualifications and staff to resident ratios. Accessing home care packages that would allow people to remain in their own homes for longer is a tortuous process.

    There are ~120,000 extant unfunded aged care packages outstanding. The Coalition provided zero funding in ‘their’ budget.

    Now, consider those uncounted numbers who were abused in childhood in an institutional setting, betrayed, innocence stolen, trust & faith in humans destroyed, relationships & prospects forever compromised, traumatised for life. Those who survive to be aged, imagine their re-ignited trauma & personal terror at the thought of being forcibly ‘institutionalised’, in their twilight, vulnerable, aged … again.

    A faux government focused on wealth AND systemic wealth transfer, utterly corrupt.

    Corruption does not engender prosperity.

    Neo-liberalism is also infected with a strain of 1850’s Puritannism, in Scummo’s case with the addition of the US pseudo-cultist Pentecostals, where Greed is Good, the Faithful are deserving of Wealth, the poor & disadvantaged are justly being punished by Dog for their own failings & ‘choices’.

    You get a Go, if you have Go.

    Hence, if you, for whatever reason beyond your control, at some point in life, are fated by mere chance, simply unable to ‘Have a Go’, you therefore are deserving of your … fate.

    Back in the day, in the Australia of my long past youth, it all would have been rightly, loudly & angrily shouted down as an ‘I’m alright, Jack!‘ viewpoint & policy.

    How is the punitive often meaningless or exploitative ‘Work for the Dole’, ParentNext & ‘Mutual Obligation’ any different to the 1800’s policy of Workhouses for the poor, destitute & indebted, along with their families ? One sees no difference whatsoever.

    It should be remembered that this venal mob of Neoliberal bustard converts from the 1850’s have over the past six years gutted Commonwealth grants to community based & charity groups who have provided welfare/mental health/sustenance/financial counselling/legal advice/aid. Gutted. And furthermore, only just prior to last Christmas sought to defund organisations such as Foodbank by the manipulation of bureaucratic financial instruments, outside of Regulations/Acts & OUR Parliament, not once, but twice. Only swift public outrage caused a backflip.

    Community based & charity services are crippled & dramatically less effective than they could be even under existing insufficient funding. Because they are constantly forced to merge & upsize to have any prospect of future funding, Furthermore as this pack of bustards have reduced such grants to annually, there can be no medium nor long term planning. Staff are underpaid, on short term annual individual contracts, with no security of employment, overworked, overstressed, underresourced, with no actual career path and little prospects, burnout & move on. The churn rate is unsustainable, as is the continual loss of knowledge, experience & competence.

    Case managers, who are so overwhelmed, they can commonly allocate as little as maybe 30 minutes a fortnight/month to face to face with the vulnerable & ‘at risk’ who cannot cope or function, who naturally feel they are literally little more than a ‘number’ to the ‘system’, or even less.

    These bustards know all this, they are informed repeatedly, & couldn’t care less.

    Vote ’em OUT!

    PS The Department of Veterans affairs has for over a century as a matter of internal policy steadfastly refused to collect, record, or receipt any numbers or data on veteran suicides. Despite a recent targeted Senate investigation. Even today.

    PPS On the assumption of Abbotts government veteran inpatients in extreme mental health crisis, when actually able to be admitted to a vacant DVA funded bed, are no longer treated based on clinical need, but automatically discharged onto the street with a prescription, an outpatient appointment in six weeks, a ‘who to call card’, regardless of being homeless or destitute, supports or personal circumstances. A seven day admission extension may be requested by the Chief Psychiatrist, in writing with justification, at risk of his/her own short term individual contract.

    PPPS Commonwealth provided Mental Health services typically are artificially represented as competently & professionally staffed. Not true. The majority of ‘treatment/interaction’, even for the most extreme cases in crisis, is by inexperienced unqualified unsupervised Registrars, Psychiatrists & psychologists in training. Almost all outpatient appointments are conducted by said Registrars, who literally work from a ‘cheat sheet’.

    Dollars … not lives.

  6. Kaye Lee

    “Community based & charity services are crippled & dramatically less effective than they could be even under existing insufficient funding. Because they are constantly forced to merge & upsize to have any prospect of future funding,”

    I was on the management committee for a local homeless youth refuge. An old guy, after finding a homeless kid on his verandah, gave us his house to use as a refuge. A dedicated staff and group of volunteers built it into a home for 15-21 year olds (sometimes younger ones delivered by DOCS). We worked on a different philosophy to the other services in the area. We had a rewards-based approach where we helped them with life-skills and supported them either at school, in court, filling in forms, finding work, finding accommodation when they were ready to move out, outreach support when they did etc.

    The residents had responsibilities – shopping, cooking, cleaning, attending school or work if they could. We made a decision that, rather than a youth worker doing the food shopping, we would give the kids a supermarket card with a limit on it and they went together to buy food for the house. The first time they did it was hilarious. After about two days of chocolate biscuits and chips and ice cream, they were complaining there was nothing for dinner. So we sat down and they did some meal planning and wrote a shopping list and an approximate budget. They were given control to make a mistake and learn from it how to do it better.

    I could go on and on about the wonderful successes we had and still cry about our failures.

    We went through a rigorous accreditation process and had to go through the annual justification (begging) for continued funding…and then along came a new manager at DOCS who decided that we should be taken over by a religious group who ran several other centres. Despite the fact that they had actually failed their accreditation, I figure this women thought it would be easier for her if she only had to deal with one provider rather than several?

    I invited her to a committee meeting to introduce her to two new committee members who were teachers from the local high schools. She took that opportunity to inform me, in front of all these dedicated volunteers, that she was taking our funding away. I am still indescribably angry.

    Great contribution, thanks Alcibiades

  7. DrakeN

    I’m in my mid 70s and have been living with chronic pain for many decades, becoming less capable of living a satisfying life as the years A comment which I made in response to an article in today’s Guardian:

    “I’m in my mid 70s and have been living with chronic pain for many decades, becoming less capable of living a satisfying life as the years pass.
    Why should I be deprived of the means to depart in a dignified and peaceful manner?
    Must I resort to violent and/or potentially agonising means because substances such as nebutal are prohibited?
    We are all ‘terminal’; we will all die.
    Must we hold on to every last year regardless of a dimininshed quality of living?
    So, the problem is created by interfering do-gooders who see pain and suffering as being rewarded in ‘heaven’ and suicide as a ‘mortal sin’ whiich will consign you to everlasting damnation.
    Well, from my perspective, it is the likes of they who should rot in hell (if such a thing exists) for the cruelty and which they impose on those of us who do not share their delusions of religious ‘faith’.”

    For we aged and infirm “suicide” prevention can be decidedly counter productive.
    Like many others of my ilk, the very thought of compulsory internment in some institution, no matter how well it is run, is an invitation to premature self immolation.
    To be able to exit this life on the terms of one’s own choosing is a human right, one which has been legislated from us at the behest of ‘moralistic’ religionists.

  8. Alcibiades

    KL,
    sigh 🙁

    The first time they did it was hilarious … They were given control to make a mistake and learn from it how to do it better.

    In the latter you have eloquently encapsulated my personal philosophy as a mentor throughout each of my careers.

    Permit, in fact encourage mistakes, in a supportive environment that does not blame & criticize & punish ‘mistakes’. Encourage leadership & self-confidence by ‘doing’, without unnecessary additional stress or needless pressure, where if any responsibility or blame, it is born by the mentor. Afterwards, sit down and openly discuss how the ‘task or project’ went. How could it be done even better, more efficiently, even if considered successful. Freely openly discuss what mistakes were made, why, and how could they be prevented in future. Then time for Pizzas drinks & socialising.

    Lessons Learned. Ideally striving for the ‘Elegant Solution’, not merely, good enough.

    A sincere genuine ‘Well Done’ is worth more than any monetary bonus, yet the sociopaths & dog-eat-dog bustards are only ever capable of thinking in terms of monetary reward. 🙁

    When one became physically housebound, and unable to do further volunteer re veteran welfare, sought to offer gratis, not even utilities, the spare rooms, fully kitted out, bedding, the lot & more, in my house to such as homeless students, DV victims, etc. A highly successful pilot program had been run by a particular charity and the detailed report & evaluation was widely distributed. The Commonwealth under this mob took it on after extended lobbying and granted administrative funds for implementation. Wasted more than a year trying to be included, endlessly rebuffed & patronisingly officiously dismissed …

    There is so much goodwill & unutilized skills & actual resources in the community that these Coalition bustards crush the life out of with indifferent contempt. Yet it is there.

  9. Kaye Lee

    I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories as a rule but….

    We had several politicians on our books as committee members – it looks good on their CV. But we had a constitution that required a minimal level of attendance at meetings. As these politicians had failed that requirement, I had written to them to inform them that they had forfeited their positions. Shortly after that, we were audited. We passed. We were subjected to a performance review. We passed. New accreditation rules were introduced. We passed. So then this woman told me that, unless I willingly handed over auspice, she was suspending payment from the following week which would have meant I would be unable to pay the staff. I could not fight her any longer. The best I could do was get a written assurance that no staff member would be retrenched or have their hours cut.

  10. helvityni

    Excellent post Alcibiades, my in-laws were clever to take their mentally ill son out of the ill-famed Callan Park mental hospital and take him to Holland to receive top-class care, free…when he passed away at a ripe age of 78,he had enough money left in his bank account to be divided between his siblings in Oz…

    The movie ‘One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest’ comes to mind, horrors, disasters plenty….here he would not have reached the age thirty, methinks…
    What happens now to the mentally ill here; do they still walk the streets…?

    PS. In-laws also moved back to Holland….

  11. Kaye Lee

    DrakeN and helvityni,

    My b-in-law is Dutch. His mother chose assisted dying rather than waiting for a brain tumour to kill her. Interestingly, many people who get approval for assisted dying don’t actually end up using it. They die of natural causes, with the peace of mind that knowing they have a choice can bring.

    I am truly sorry to hear of your suffering DrakeN. Your contributions here are greatly appreciated. You help to make a difference.

  12. helvityni

    DrakeN,

    ‘Why should I be deprived of the means to depart in a dignified and peaceful manner?’

    Because we are a punitive society…especially so under Coalition Governments….

    (Are we willing to let the innocent Aussie children of Australian terrorists come back to Australia…. ?)

  13. Alcibiades

    DrakeN,
    Hear you. Know that you are not alone. When my time comes I will depart on my terms, by conscious choice of free will.

    Helvytini,
    Your in-laws son was very fortunate.

    What happens now to the mentally ill here; do they still walk the streets…?
    Yes. At the end of the 80’s beginning of the 90’s Mental health institutional care was terminated. The facilities sold off, privatised for profit, to ‘connected’ developers or bulldozed and turned into tennis courts, etc.

    The incapable former patients were supposedly released into the community. False.
    They were dumped onto the streets to fend for themselves. The previous funding returned to consolidated revenue.
    It is now ~30 years later and nothing has changed.
    There are community care units(CCU’s) but they are oversubscribed, underresourced, underfunded & suffer staff attrition. They offer at best temporary respite & limited support. Then back on the streets, and the cycle repeats.
    There is wholly insufficient crisis beds for admission Australia wide and no alternatives.
    The Neoliberals focus on a glitzy low cost facade of Low needs Websites/Apps/and wholly inadequate underfunded under-resourced mental health clinics. They can do nothing for moderate or severe cases. Nothing.

    Simply put, crisis services are incomprehensibly insufficient, and there is nothing in the Middle. Literally nothing.

    What has Scummo & Co. done ? Tossed a few crumbs to low level needs.

    Those in moderate or severe need, even critical crisis, will be repeatedly turned away from emergency departments. If lucky enough to be admitted any perception of non-compliance results in chemical or even physical restraint. Doped up, medicated, without waiting for sufficient time for the efficacy of the medications to be even assessed, needs mean they must be discharged, regardless. Back onto the street. There is no Middle.

    Adult Acute Psychiatric Units(APUs) & similar are always at maximum capacity. In, out, interim, in, out, interim. Cease to ask for or accept faux offered treatment. That does not exist beyond immediate crisis management, if lucky.

    Sooner or later, if without profound family supports, one simply gives up actively ceasing to participate in the fraud of the roundabout. Statistically, disappear.

    Could recount sanitised example cases of egregious abuse/indignities/imposed trauma observed as a welfare officer, but it would serve no real purpose. It is criminal negligence/neglect, breach of the Commonwealths lawful Duty of Care, in many cases, that cannot be excused or explained away, in my view.

    Of the ~116.000 homeless on our streets each night ~20-25% are veterans(IIRC).

    Correction to my comment above:

    PPS On the assumption of Abbotts government veteran inpatients in extreme mental health crisis, when actually able to be admitted to a vacant DVA funded bed, are no longer treated based on clinical need, but automatically discharged onto the street with a prescription, given an outpatient appointment in six weeks, a ‘who to call card’, regardless of being homeless or destitute, supports or personal circumstances. Discharged after 21 days. Mandatory, no correspondence entered into. A seven day admission extension may be requested by the Chief Psychiatrist, in writing with justification, at risk of his/her own short term individual contract.

  14. Lambert Simnel

    Apart from detained asylum seekers,aklso people isiolatdon the land as the drought intensifes one odd omission from that sorry list was the unemployed and welfare beneficiaries driven to suicide by the calculated (genocidal?) brutality of Robodebt and the general designed extreme spirit- breaking oppressiveness of the system.

    I know this category was mentioned very briefly so don’t believe it was ignored, so now offer this comment as expansive to a good posting on what ails society; this reactive fear, ignorance and arrogance driven retreat from humanity represented in the extreme by Hanson, who is only the visible tip of a far deeper misanthropic isolationist tendency.

    The telling remrkark involved religion and its contradiction.

  15. Lambert Simnel

    Sorry for typos tried rushing a couple of extra ideas at the end.

    Yes, how do people who so loudly proclaim Xtianity as the formative aspect of their belief system behave in such univerally excluding and brutal ways against battling groups in their communities?

  16. Kronomex

    “Prime Minister Scott Morrison is likely to wait another week before firing the starter’s gun on the election campaign, giving MPs more time to gauge community reaction to the federal budget and sharpen their political strategy.” All of which, to me at least, means it just an excuse for another week of gouging more taxpayer funded free LNP advertising before they have to use their own party cash.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/scott-morrison-likely-to-delay-election-campaign-by-another-week-20190406-p51bhc.html

  17. Kaye Lee

    If the writs are issued any later than Monday, the election must be held on May 18. Even if they are issued on Monday, the only other choice is a week earlier – May 11. (or he chooses to split the HoR and Senate elections).

    Re the campaign funding – I think you will find that they don’t have to start paying for it themselves until after the official campaign launch which is why they all wait until about a week before the election to do that. In 2016, Labor’s was on June 19th and the Coalition’s was on June 26th for a July 2 election.

    “If you’re wondering why the parties leave their official ‘launches’ so late, there’s a simple – but infuriating – answer: they only have to pay for their own campaigns after the official launch. Until then, it’s a taxpayer-funded romp around the nation.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/federal-election-2016-labors-campaign-launch-20160619-gpmjao.html

  18. Kronomex

    It’s still a racket that the we get gouged for.

  19. Kaye Lee

    The prime minister’s most likely options are May 11 and 18, but May 25 and June 1 are also possibilities if the Australian Electoral Commission is granted extra funding to expedite counting, ABC election analyst Antony Green says.

    Who cares if it costs more to delay?

  20. Diannaart

    Kaye Lee, regarding conspiracies, with sufficient numbers of like minds and, in such cases as yours, no conspiracy is required. Where the dominant ideology is one of authoritarianism, any group or person ‘straying’ from the prescribed path will be punished either by withdrawal of support or undermined, no clandestine planning required.

    To DrakeN, I hear you. Not your age yet, but chronic illness is incrementally worsening, have told my sister I am not going to a nursing home should I no longer have the means to independent living.

    Alcibiades, when the decision was made to end institutional homes and hospitals, that people would be “better off” living independently, then not providing a standard of care to ensure people had homes to go to or the wherewithal to full independence, levels of homelessness exponentially increased. I was working in (in)Human Services then, suffice to say I saw and dealt with much of the results of deinstitutionalisation. Excellent idea that people no longer languish in wards, but cruel of successive governments to diminish responsibility.

    Helvityni, if I had the means to move to Holland, I’d be there right now. That Australian governments have slavishly followed the doctrines set out by the likes of Reagan and Thatcher from last century, is appalling and, after all this time, not working (never worked), is beyond reprehensible.

  21. Alcibiades

    Diannaart,
    There is no question many institutions were … less than ideal. Yet, they provided the ‘Middle’, many and varied large scale capacities, resources, dedicated physical assets, extensive staff, to provide the buffer. To literally eject the unwell, without the ability or means to function independently was a deliberate, cold & calculated act. And the same approach has persisted for 30 years. Ever since, the Middle, has ceased to exist, has been ignored by State & Federal governments of both persuasions, always apportioning blame/fault yet taking no responsibility, no serious funding nor action much beyond band-aids. Egregious.

    (In)Human Services ? Commonwealth ? In my experience Federal Human Services culture & policy is akin to DVA … less than people focused, let alone meaningful outcomes. State Human Services Dept tend to be culturally far more humane & focused on the real world needs of the vulnerable, though without the resources or funding to truly make a profound difference re numbers. Have previously had a number of State Human Services staff go out of their way, upfront, to emphatically identify themselves as not Commonwealth DHS.

    Perhaps with luck the latest Royal Commission may make a start. If the pollies can be coerced to give a damn.

    The reality of what was occurring was starkly confronting in ’89. At night, just past the traffic lights, an ejected patient, only days earlier, suddenly stepped directly in front of my car, steadfast. Slammed the breaks on and literally gently kissed him with the bullbar. He had been doing this unsuccessfully, intermittently, for at least an hour, ignored. Clearly distressed, held a small carboard box of his meagre possessions tucked tightly under his arm.

    Bustards.

  22. Phil.

    Most politicians especially conservative ones, give a flying fluck how many people commit suicide. For them it is one less person to draw social welfare. Their only concern is how their property portfolio is doing, are the stocks and shares on target to get well cashed up. Call me a cynic most of them are on the take, and it doesn’t have to be the proceeds of a crime per se. A wink and a nod, signing off on a land deal, jobs for the boys, signing a visa to let some scum bag into the country. Their corruption and greed is only limited to ones imagination. But make no mistake when Shorten puts on the crown, it’s going to be business as usual. If anyone gets prosecuted from the present government for graft and corruption I will eat a pile of dog shit and get my wife to film it for your viewing pleasure. They all make ‘ Murder Incorporated’ look like an old ladies knitting class. I loath them. Not one of them have worked a day in their miserable lives.

    We are mugs and they know it. They know full well most of the the public are gullible fools. I have long dreams into the long night, of watching politician’s being hung up by their thumbs and letting all the people that have been the victim of this mob of contemptable shit bags, take turns of swinging on their legs. Some of them of course would probably enjoy it. Society has lost the plot.

  23. Paul Davis

    Gee Phil, i thought i was the most grumpy irascible pollie hating reader here…..

    Obviously we have to rid parliament somehow of the most vicious greedy dangerous corrupt and mendacious persons standing for election. That means, to me, every candidate from the Liberals, the Nationals, One Nation, the Shooters F##kers and Farmers, the faux RWNJs like Katter, big George, Hinch and others. That means, again in my jaundiced view, voting for what used to the Labor party, that Centre Right group led by Bill Shorten and preferencing non fascist or loony independents, where possible, putting those listed above last behind the Greens. There are quite a few, in my view, unworthy Labor candidates but this reflects the crappy factional preselection process that put arseholes like ##### up. Fortunately my Labor candidate appears to be a decent person and i hope to see the last of local Adani mouthpiece Landry, but not hopeful. Shorten’s crew will win a significant lower house majority and fingers crossed will control the senate, because without the latter the rosy future offered will turn to merde.

    Yes Phil, to a large extent the incoming Labor govt will be business as usual, very few political appointments will be ejected, no one will be prosecuted or made to repay stolen money though many should be, there will be no fair dinkum ICAC, no change to MP rorts and privilege, the banks execs will walk away scot free, the NBN will not be fibre to the home, the NDIS will continue to lanquish, the Murray Darling scheme will continue to be f##ked, visa workers and labour hire will continue to infest the country, because, you see, it’s all too hard. Bill gave a new vision for the nation in his reply speech and in three years he and his crew could be chucked out not because he lied but because, well, it’s just all too hard.

  24. Phil.

    ‘ Gee Phil, i thought i was the most grumpy irascible pollie hating reader here…..’

    No need to unpack any of that we are in full agreement.

    I know we are on borrowed time. Global warming, a nutter in the White house, a gangster running Russia, and China about to stop buying the rest of the worlds resources because, they are at a stage, where the world has all the plastic buckets and garden gnomes it can use. These f#ckers think the party can go on forever.

    We have just had a country to the north of us who have just made laws to be able to stone Gays to death. I say, where are they going to get all the dope from? ( That’s a joke Joyce) But really aint funny.

    If it wasn’t all so serious it would be funny. My eldest son who I love deeply( I punch him now and then he gets lippy when he’s pissed) Just joking’ he would kill me. The prick could straighten a horse shoe. He says to me ‘ Dad it’s a whole new world and you just don’t fit in’ And of course he’s right.

    Jesus, Joseph and Mary, don’t open the car door for your mother you might be accused of wanting to have sex with her. Don’t say please and thank you to the check out chick Jesus they’ll think you’re grooming her or him to be a prostitute. There’s a point there somewhere. Oh that’s right, the feminists all wet their knickers over Gillard the saviour of the working class.

    Yep, we have let the nutters take over the nut house. Just wait and see, when they start arresting us wholesale for having an opinion, or for wearing a tie with a naked women on it. Or for just saying go have sex with yourself. We will all think, we have f#cked up here. Like I say we have lost the plot. I predict anarchy not tomorrow, not next weekend, but it’s coming I would bet my kids life on it.

  25. Steve Davis

    Medication is rarely, if ever, mentioned as a suicide factor.

    Many who suicide are on anti-depressants, yet most of these are known to have the potential to induce anxiety, depression and suicidality.

    Despite this, doctors do not warn of the suicide risks, nor do they put in place the recommended risk control measures.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Steve,

    Anti-depressants affect people very differently. It is really important to talk to your pharmacist about the effect medication is having on you because there are usually alternatives that may work better for the individual. Pharmacists are, I find, often better informed about drugs and a good one will often be of more help than the GP in that regard.

  27. paul walter

    With antidepressants, the problem usually comes with withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop using them.
    Folk I know who have tried to stop using them usually give up because they feel so “down” they can’t hack it without them and go back to them. I’ve known of some people who started with the laudable idea of stopping, persevered and killed themselves after some time because of the brain taking such a long time to restart processing the natural antidepressants when it shut down processing when replaced by substitutes.

    Which is not to say antidepressants don’t work.

    It is just that there is a cost associated with using them for beyond a certain time and people need to be aware of withdrawal symptoms as a possibility when use ceases.

  28. Diannaart

    Alcibiades

    State HS, Victoria.

    Agree. The institutions were still needed, but better and properly staffed – a functional middle. Which costs money, same as support services cost money.

    Money trumps everything. As I am sure the POTUS agrees, along with the rest of his ilk.

    A false economy of course. Immediate savings tend not to lead to long term economy. Which is why we cannot even get climate change action working in any cohesive measure. Cooperation stinks of communism to the self justifying greedy.

    Also working together means having to put aside grievances which is near impossible for humans.

    Just look at ourselves right here, some people would rather hold a grudge with people they have much in common with than accept an apology, others would never apologise, yet we like to call ourselves progressive!

    Apologies for divergence, it’s just that everything is so interconnected …

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