On the cusp of all that might be wonderful, just how devastating is the loss of a young life – whether through murder as with Jill Meagher and Sarah Cafferkey, or though suicide?
Suicide is the leading cause of death among Australians aged between 15 and 34 and Youth Affairs Council of Victoria CEO Kate Colvin says there are not enough resources to support vulnerable young people.
“We are worried about a review that is taking place in such a tight fiscal environment.”
The current program connects government, Catholic and independent schools with community services and supports young people aged 10-18 who are at risk of violence, substance abuse, socioeconomic disadvantage, disengagement from school, and suicide.
In 2011-12 the program referred more than 1000 young people to counselling services, homelessness and housing services, drug and alcohol programs, foster care and sexual assault services.
The Youth Team Manager at Grampians Community Health says:
“It has been one of those rare programs that brings all the sectors together. It provides support for young people, particularly those who are considered at risk or vulnerable, and we simply don’t have those sorts of resources at our disposal…It’s going to leave a big gap.”
Perhaps the Victorian economy is in devastating shape and we need cuts to youth suicide programs, and to TAFE funding, BUT let’s hear the detail please. We voters ARE capable of thinking and responding to rational argument.
I am totally lost for words at the incredibly poor communication the Victorian Government has with us, the voters.