To the Editor,
The recent passing of Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett has struck a chord across Australia, with thousands of people expressing their sadness over her death and sharing messages of support to her family. Our thoughts are also with the Everett’s, Dolly’s friends and the communities to whom she was connected.
Much coverage about Dolly in the news and social media has focused on cyberbullying, shifting the focus from the loss of a young life. The widespread exposure of the suicide of Dolly may have raised feelings of distress for some people. I would encourage anyone who is going through a tough time to seek support. Talking to a trusted relative or friend, a counsellor, GP, or online services such as Lifeline and eheadspace can help.
It is important to recognise that suicide is rarely the result of a single event or factor and is a complex and multi-faceted issue. It is usually a result of a person feeling hopeless about life due to a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors.
It is heart breaking that any young person would feel like their only option is to end their life. Emphasis should be on supporting young people who may be experiencing similar thoughts of hopelessness. We lose far too many young Australians to suicide and we need to ensure that young people are supported and have help available so that we can prevent further tragedies.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data released in 2016, again identified suicide as the leading cause of death for school aged children. Each week we lose eight children and young people to suicide and as a country we need to continue to work together to change this.
There are a number of resources available on the headspace website, as well as from many other organisations, that provide information and advice on mental health and other topics relating to young people’s wellbeing.
CEO at headspace, the National Youth
Mental Health Foundation