WHEN he worked as a police officer at Knox, there was one thing Jason Wood found harder to do than anything else.
Working at a time when Knox was experiencing high suicide rates, the La Trobe MP said there was nothing more difficult as a young officer than telling someone’s parents that their son or daughter had taken their own life.
As he officially opened the new Headspace facility in Narre Warren last Friday, located near Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, Mr Wood recalled some of his most sobering moments while working as a policeman.
“I don’t know how many suicide notes I’ve actually read and one of the saddest things about someone taking their own life, when it comes to a suicide note, is they believe they’re doing something good for everyone around them,” he told the guests.
“In actual fact, it’s totally the reverse.
“At the same time passing on a death message to a family, there’s pretty much nothing worse that you can do.
“What can you say to someone when their young son or daughter’s taken their own life?
“And it’s one of those things as a police officer that you just hated doing but it was one of those jobs you needed to do.”
But as he formally introduced the Narre Warren Headspace, and wrote a tribute message on the nearby wall, Jason congratulated the young people who had been instrumental in advocating for the new facility and said it was a great step forward, three years after a community summit on youth suicide was convened by Holt MP Anthony Byrne at the City of Casey chambers and covered by the ABC’s Four Corners.
“The great news is that we now have a Headspace here in Fountain Gate and we have very caring and compassionate people here from the youth advisory committee,” Mr Wood said.
“We need to do something about this and to me this is a great start.
“It’s great to see so many young people here today.”
Those in need of immediate assistance, or who need to speak to someone they can trust, can phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.
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