Three-year-olds in childcare and students from preschools will soon receive suicide talks from Beyond Blue.
The Daily Mail reports, while children as young as three won’t necessarily be hearing the term ‘suicide’ they will have discussions around ‘not wanting to be here’ or ‘wanting to die.’
The idea, which is part of a $53 million Mental Health in Education program, will be released by the Turnbull government on Thursday.
As the nation’s suicide and childhood mental health crisis soars The Mercury reports this will be a way to prevent the ‘contagion’ from becoming an epidemic.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics between 2011 and 2015 a total of 89 children aged 5 to 14 years committed suicide.
Louise Davis, clinical practice manager at Kids Helpline, said the service had received calls from kids as young as eight contemplating suicide.
While she does agree that using the term suicide is too strong for three-year-olds there should be a discussion about feelings and being open about seeking help.
‘We don’t want to scare young children, but certainly we want the message for them to be that if they are feeling anything — whether it is not wanting to be here or sadness that they can discuss that.’
The program, which will be run by Beyond Blue, will be announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt on Thursday who will inform teachers from childcare through to Year 12 that extra mental health training will be provided in their tertiary education courses.
It will begin early next year with two-thirds of all schools to be involved — 2000 Early Learning Services and 6000 schools — by June 2019.
To talk to someone about suicide please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifeline.org.au.
Do you support this initiative or do you think this age is too young and impressionable?
Share your comments below.
Image getty photos