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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Suicidal Behaviour in Children: Submissions (National Children's Commissioner)

Extracted from the CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Australian National Children’s Commissioner examines intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour in children 


 The National Children’s Commissioner is examining how children and young people under 18 years can be better protected from intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour. Article 6 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child gives to every child the inherent right to life.1 United Nations guidelines for periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child specifically asks for information on measures taken to prevent suicide and other relevant issues affecting the right to life, survival and development of children and young people.2 
Intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour in children and young people is a serious issue in Australia and overseas.3 4 The latest available data from 2012 shows that intentional self-harm was the leading cause of death among Australian children and young people aged 15 to 24.5 
According to Australian hospital statistics about incidents involving intentional self-harm in the year 2011-12, there were 2,855 incidents involving males aged 15 to 24, and 7,154 incidents involving females in the same age bracket.6 For children aged 5 to 14, no data was provided for males7 and there were 690 incidents involving females.8 
We know that many more children and young people intentionally self-harm than present to hospital. In 2012, the Kids Helpline responded to 15,887 contacts by children and young people aged 5 to 25 who were assessed to have self-injury and self-harming behaviours.9 In the same year, Kids Helpline also facilitated 9,313 counselling sessions with children and young people aged 5 to 25 who were assessed by the counsellor as having thoughts of suicide.10 

Each year the lives of too many of our children and young people are lost. The impact of intentional self-harm on children and young people is felt all through the community and leaves a lasting legacy of grief, loss, disability and poor health. 

My own submission can be found at
Click on 'Resource' Tab
Download here: "SubmissionAHRCSuicideChildrenGMartin

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