Sunday, April 12, 2009

To eliminate we must educate.

The Westgate bridge, Melbourne, Australia.
The 'suicide barriers' debate is one that is relatively one sided. I don't think it is an issue that many explore excessively.

Darcey Freeman, a beautiful four year old girl lost her life at the hands of her father on the Westgate bridge earlier this year. This inspired the Victorian Government to fastrack the construction of 'suicide barriers' on the infamous Melbourne bridge.

If you have read thus far I now write a WARNING seeing as my last mildly opinionated piece caused a lot of distress amongst readers. I am not in any way trying to be offensive to anybody. I am not trying to erradicate the construction of barriers nor am I condoning suicide or apparent murder.

The installation of suicide barriers is all well and good. It is known that many suicides are impulsive. This, along with the violently upsetting death of a child is what has inspired our Government to hastily construct these barriers.
I am not angered by this, atleast not dramatically.
I only find it tremendously difficult to understand why this is the initial response from our Prime Minister.
Depression and anxiety is something that is rarely spoken about. Unfortunately many people are ignorant and ill informed when it comes to such illnesses.
It makes my blood boil to think that we are more than happy to slander suicide and install barriers to prevent such acts however the Government has not tried feverishly to educate our population on the matter of depression.
Why should we let people get to the point of suicide?

Personally, I believe that we should instead be trying desperately to help the depressed so that the barriers are not needed. I know that is a foolish statement. As I said before, many suicidal attempts are impulsive. But surely that indicates that somebody feeling depressed and suicidal will unfortunately find another way to end their life.
It upsets me to great lengths to learn that our Government is preventing suicide physically and not mentally. We should be doing both with great vigour!

I desperately hope that this post upsets nobody. I support the barriers, but I implore our Government to do more about the issue of depression and suicide than this.


  1. wow jayo, that was so so so so so amazing.
    you didn't offend me, i actually welled up a bit. i am a survivor of depression- i was diagnosed with a juvenile form of it when i was eleven and now, being seventeen, have only just won my battle with it. i myself for many years have had dark thoughts and contemplated suicide, and so it is from that side of the argument that i say that i couldn't agree more with your statement. it is undoubtedly important to install barriers to prevent people from jumping, from making the most sad, irrational and horrible decision of their lives.
    however, we as a society must take the iniative to find out why people feel the need to jump, to educate people about this serious illness and do all we can to lessen those shocking statistics. i believe that we need more people like you in the world to raise awareness, one person at a time, so that, like you said, there will be no need for such barriers in the future.

    well done jayo, i'm a massive fan of your blog and this post cemented what an amazing person you are. (L) xxx

  2. extremely well said.
    let's conquer this illness, as a nation.
    excellent to see you raising awareness on this issue.
    love your shameless self promoting bud

  3. this is an interesting way of looking at it Jayo, but there are lots of avenues for depression. You have made a valid point but you must remember that depression is more prevalent in our consumerist society than in any 'less privileged' country. Depression is something that people can seek counsel for. There are many ways in which the illness of depression is dealt with, whether it be psychology, government funded counseling and so on. The basic fabric of our materialistic society is a huge contributor to depression and other depression related anxiety disorders.