Suicide prevention

In June 2013 I put my first Suicide Prevention Advertisement (SPA) in a Barossa newspaper, thinking I would do only one. I’ve just written my seventy-seventh ‘long’ SPA. They’ve gone into local papers now in two states, I’ve had much positive feedback, was nominated (2014) for a national award from Suicide Prevention Australia, and not had one single complaint.

All these SPAs are on my media and information site, along with suicide statistics commencing 1921 and road fatalities from 1970. Also a graph, other relevant figures, the original source of government expenditure figures on national infrastructure and Beyondblue, relevant comment from then minister Catherine King and a chilling call to all Australians from the then CEO of Beyondblue Kate Carnell (2014).

You don’t have to be a Rhodes scholar in emotional mathematics to work out that if our governments spend $5.5 billion/year on infrastructure/road safety for three decades, and yet less than one per cent of this figure, currently a paltry $41m/year on our ‘emotional roads’ (Beyondblue), it’s hardly surprising road fatalities have reduced by 77 per cent while suicides have shown no reduction at all. There are now two suicides for every one road fatality.

Shame on each and every Aussie politician who allows this situation to continue.

I’m looking to get my little SPA messages into as many hearts and minds as possible. They are currently available to any Aussie community for the price of the advertising space, paid directly to the newspaper, not to me.

I’m not a complete stranger to our big circulation print media and ABC Radio National over past environmental and reconciliation issues but when I want to debate prevention policy, their doors suddenly shut very tight.

Tim Barritt, Barossa Valley


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