One child every week takes their own life in our “lucky” country …that’s enough to make anyone stop and think
Shocking national statistics released in 2014 revealed Aussie kids as young as four are increasingly taking their own lives.
The Australian Human Rights Commission report tabled to Federal parliament in November established from unpublished coronial reports that 333 children aged four to 17 died from "intentional self-harm" between January 2007 and December 2012.
Every week 50 to 60 more are reported to be hospitalised for attempted suicide.
While many factors are stated as the cause for suicide, a loss of hope is at the root of each devastating decision.
"Children who commit suicide feel very trapped by expectations or difficult situations they can see no way out of," Child Psychotherapy Trust chairperson Eileen Orford explained to The Independent in 2000.
Author Hal Lindsey once said "a man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air but only for one second without hope."
We are left questioning what causes children to lose hope and purpose so young.
National Children's Commissioner Megan Mitchell says that children need to be taught better "coping mechanisms".
I believe this is not enough.
They need a promise that their pain will one day be removed completely.
They need a sense of purpose that will carry them through the times of trial and remind them that someone out there will never leave nor forsake them.
While some Australians have recently made it clear that they see Biblical instruction as 'indoctrination', surely God's promises bring hope and love that transcend each child's circumstances?
Verses such as Hebrews 13:5-6, provide hope: "God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?' "
Children need to know their lives matter to God, that they were created for a reason and that He loves them more than they will ever know.
They need to know that whilst the struggles of life are not easy, they are worth it for the great joy they will feel when they are reunited with their Heavenly Father who created them.
Jesus Christ died so that each of us could live life to the full, and the certainty of His promises to us, are the means of the hope our nation's children need to hang on to when all seems lost. •