Campaign kicks off to help Bundy youths battle the blues
Suicide is the biggest killer of young people aged 15 to 24, a statistic that Bundaberg social worker Adam Klimkiewicz is passionate about addressing.
Mr Klimkiewicz is based in Bundaberg with Youth Insearch to provide face-to-face services for the region's young people to connect, develop and grow amid life's hurdles.
Today, the organisation is launching its annual End Youth Suicide campaign.
Now in its third year, the Youth Insearch End Youth Suicide campaign encourages young people to defy the stigma and talk openly about suicide with their friends, families, and communities.
And for those things too hard to talk about to friends and family, Mr Klimkiewicz says regular workshops and group gatherings with guides and peers can provide a safe space to talk.
"I honestly believe in the program," Mr Klimkiewicz said.
"You can come here and learn so much from being in a safe space, talking about things you might not be able to talk about with close family and friends."
According to Youth Insearch, young people are being deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Youth Insearch has delivered 6238 support calls in about the space of a year, as well as 1279 attendances at virtual meetings and a growing number of young participants in face-to-face programs.
"We need to come together now more than ever to help young people in our communities," Youth Insearch CEO Stephen Lewin said.
The organisation says young people will need around 18 months of counselling, on average, to cope with the extra strains and stresses of the pandemic.
"If you or your loved ones are going through a tough time please reach out to support services," Mr Lewin said.
In Bundaberg, peer support groups are held every week, while workshops are run every three months.
Mr Klimkiewicz said he was excited to grow the local programs as much as possible and welcome all young people along.
"We're super proud to be having this campaign," he said.
To attend youth programs in Bundaberg, call 5507 1215.
If you have been depressed and need help immediately, call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Key youth suicide statistics
• Suicide is the biggest killer of Australians aged 15 to 24 years
• People living in rural and remote Australia are up to twice as likely to die by suicide as people living in major cities
• For every suicide in this age group there are around 100 to 200 suicide attempts
• Almost one in four young people who die by suicide are Indigenous
• For each life lost to suicide, the impacts are felt by up to 135 people, including family members, work colleagues, friends and first responders at the time of death.
• In 2019, 461 young Australians died by suicide.
About Youth Insearch
Youth Insearch runs one of the most successful youth intervention programs in Australia. Prior to attending Youth Insearch, 58 per cent said they had planned to kill themselves in the past and 23 per cent had actually made a suicide attempt while 21 per cent said that they felt it was likely or very likely that they would attempt suicide in the future. Almost half of all Youth Insearch participants (47 per cent) said they had engaged in self harm in the preceding 12 months.
In 2020, 91 per cent of Youth Insearch participants no longer felt suicidal after attending the program, with all receiving ongoing follow-up support. Eighty-nine per cent had not reattempted suicide after participating in the Youth Insearch program.
Youth Insearch is a multi-award-winning charity organisation dedicated to helping young people, aged between 14 and 20 years, through peer group support. Founded in 1985, Youth Insearch has helped nearly 32,000 at-risk youth turn their lives around, including thousands at risk of suicide.