The Chronical Toowoomba
20 April 2000

Memorial service highlights suicides toll

BRISBANE: Hundreds of people took part in a memorial service in Brisbane yesterday for Australia’s suicide victims.

Organiser Mrs Fanita Clark, whose son committed suicide almost 12 months ago, said governments were not doing enough to combat the problem.

“We hear all the time about the dangers of drink-driving, or prostate cancer and things like that, but we hear very little about the disastrous effects of mental illness and stress,” Mrs Clark said.

“It is important to remove the stigmas associated with suicide and to make governments and the public understand the victims are not just statistics but dearly loved family members.”
Statistics show suicides easily outnumber road fatalities as the cause of death in Australia.

The national road toll last year was 1731, 952 below the suicide figure.

Yesterday’s memorial service was the second of its kind in Australia following the inaugural White Wreath Service in Canberra last November, attended by government leaders including the Prime Minister.