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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Suicidal Behaviour in Children: Submissions (National Children's Commissioner)

Extracted from the CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Australian National Children’s Commissioner examines intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour in children 


 The National Children’s Commissioner is examining how children and young people under 18 years can be better protected from intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour. Article 6 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child gives to every child the inherent right to life.1 United Nations guidelines for periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child specifically asks for information on measures taken to prevent suicide and other relevant issues affecting the right to life, survival and development of children and young people.2 
Intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour in children and young people is a serious issue in Australia and overseas.3 4 The latest available data from 2012 shows that intentional self-harm was the leading cause of death among Australian children and young people aged 15 to 24.5 
According to Australian hospital statistics about incidents involving intentional self-harm in the year 2011-12, there were 2,855 incidents involving males aged 15 to 24, and 7,154 incidents involving females in the same age bracket.6 For children aged 5 to 14, no data was provided for males7 and there were 690 incidents involving females.8 
We know that many more children and young people intentionally self-harm than present to hospital. In 2012, the Kids Helpline responded to 15,887 contacts by children and young people aged 5 to 25 who were assessed to have self-injury and self-harming behaviours.9 In the same year, Kids Helpline also facilitated 9,313 counselling sessions with children and young people aged 5 to 25 who were assessed by the counsellor as having thoughts of suicide.10 

Each year the lives of too many of our children and young people are lost. The impact of intentional self-harm on children and young people is felt all through the community and leaves a lasting legacy of grief, loss, disability and poor health. 

My own submission can be found at
Click on 'Resource' Tab
Download here: "SubmissionAHRCSuicideChildrenGMartin

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Haiku on Tumble/ Surprise/ Anew/ Fool


Life goes round and round
As in a tumble drier
We all dessicate

A tumble down house
Discovered deep in the woods
What were its secrets?

Australian made
Pride comes before a tumble
Not when you're the best


That I still love you
Would come as no real surprise
To those who know me

The 1st of April
A surprise to all the fools
Who lost sight of March

Surprise in a rush
Our 1st of April joker
Quick with a punch line


Let's begin anew
A new what, you ask coyly
Taking your clothes off

Must learn from nature
Spring happens after Winter
Anew from the pain

The day dawns anew
Possiblenesses shattered
Driving back to work


Stepped into the ring
No prior experience
No-one but a fool

Fool and his money
Can soon be parted they say
Hence the lifelong smile

Fooled all his gaolers
Simply ran through the front gate
Back into prison

Monday, May 19, 2014

Haiku on Intrude/ Riot/ Remake/ Thick


Driving rain intrudes
Windscreen wipers slow to crawl
Late to work again

A jumbled image
Interpenetrating themes
Intrude my Haiku

Sweet kisses invite
Please allow me to intrude
Your aching body


Riot of colour
Carefully planned and laid out
 Chelsea flower show

Another riot
Middle East in flames again
Passions exploding

Children at recess
School tuck shop not yet open
Small riot brewing


Reconsider love
Reawaken you from sleep
Remake messed up bed

Our life story is
We can't unmake what happened
Can remake futures

Can't remake babies
They are our genetic mix
We can shape their souls


Thick fog descended
Street lights yellowed, sound muffled
Deadly pea-souper

A thick Irish brogue
Dressed in green from head to toe
Leprechaun tells tales

Mind thick with worries
I sit in a quiet space
The fog slowly clears

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Self-harm and Suicidal Behaviour in Children (Call for Submissions)

This is something that each of you should know about.
In addition, I am sure the Australian Commissioner for Children would be interested in submissions about personal experience of self-harm, and your experience of helping services.
Please feel free to circulate this to anyone you think may want to say something.

The following is taken from the Call for Submissions.

Submissions are sought from interested individuals, government, private, and non- government organisations, on the issue of children and young people under 18 years engaging in intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour. Of particular interest is:
  1. Why children and young people engage in intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour.
  2. The incidence and factors contributing to contagion and clustering involving children and young people.
  3. The barriers which prevent children and young people from seeking help.

  1. The conditions necessary to collect comprehensive information which can be reported in a regular and timely way and used to inform policy, programs and practice. This may include consideration of the role of Australian Government agencies, such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
  2. The impediments to the accurate identification and recording of intentional self- harm and suicide in children and young people, the consequences of this, and suggestions for reform.
  3. The benefit of a national child death and injury database, and a national reporting function.
  4. The types of programs and practices that effectively target and support children and young people who are engaging in the range of intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviours. Submissions about specific groups are encouraged, including children and young people who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, those who are living in regional and remote communities, those who are gender variant and sexuality diverse, those from culturally diverse backgrounds, those living with disabilities, and refugee children and young people seeking asylum. De-identified case studies are welcome.
  5. The feasibility and effectiveness of conducting public education campaigns aimed at reducing the number of children who engage in intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour.
  6. The role, management and utilisation of digital technologies and media in preventing and responding to intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviour among children and young people.
Submissions are welcome on any of these issues. Submissions will be made public unless the person making the submission requests that it not be made public or the Australian Human Rights Commission considers it should not be made public. 

Haiku on Cripple/ Ransom/ Monster/ Possible


Limbs twisted by fate
Standing crippled in one place
The Oak outlives man

The politicians
Filled with passion and power
Cripple the people

May be a cripple
My mind seeks beauty and truth
Out of Life's darkness


Held her to ransom
No one willing to pay price
So she married him

Stole the King's daughter
They walked some miles together
Then they both ransom

Quite a handsome man
But he has a rancid smell
Not worth a ransom


Monster erection
Every city must have one
Ours bigger than yours

Big fat kid at school
Tried to monster little ones
Till he had no friends

Acted so normal
No sign of any monster
Till he bought a gun


Keep options open
Dwell in possiblenesses
No prejudices

All is possible
Until you have decided
It will not happen

A frown of dark clouds
Crosses the face of the world
Spitting possible