Depression And Suicides In Youth In Australia Essay


Discuss about the Depression and Suicides in Youth in The Australia Context.



The current study focuses on the aspect of depression management and prevention of suicides in youth in the Australian context. Depression is one of the perils which have been hugely affecting the present century. Mostly the feeling stems from internalization of negative feelings and comments which are either circumstantial or may have genetic predisposition. Depression management is a prime concern among the youth which could be attributed to a number of factors. Some of these factors are constant demand to keep up with the constantly changing society and utmost peer pressure. Additionally, unreported depression may have severe consequences resulting in development of suicidal feelings in an individual. The present assignment focuses upon the risk factors of depression along with the plausible interventions which could be provided for the management of the same.

Depression and suicide management in Australia

Decoding depression in the Australian context

The current decade has seen an alarming rise in the rate of suicide and depression within the Australian population. Depression is a common peril affecting individuals globally and needs immediate care and retrieval. The cause of depression may be deep rooted within the current Australian population. The present youth had been suffering from a number of issues such as loneliness, drug abuse among other factors such lack of as peer pressure. As commented by Butow et al. (2015), the lack of sufficient support and social concern cam add fuel to the grievances of these teenagers. Depression is the second most common health issue after cardiac ailments. However, as argued by Ridani et al. (2015), most of the time people lack sufficient knowledge about the onset or the presence of depression and fail to receive adequate amount of care services.

The causes of depression can be broken down into a number of components such as past or family history of depression, sensitive and self critical personalities, possessing chronic medical conditions for a very long time. As commented by Staples et al. (2015), submission to alcohol and other forms of sedatives can form a basis for loosing cognitive control within an individual. Depression is a rather huge and complex area and the causes for the development of melancholy within the individual may vary based upon individual predisposition and circumstances (Cummins et al. 2015). It is mostly attributed to the development of chemical imbalances within the brain. The mood balance within an individual in mainly regulated by the presence of optimum levels of serotonin and dopamine. However, as argued by van Dooren et al. (2013), turbulent social environment along with disturbed family conditions can trigger the development of such feelings of dejection within an individual.

Statistics about rate of suicides

There has been an alarming rise in the rate of suicides in the current Australian scenario. As reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), between the years 2011-2015, the average number of suicides was recorded at 2867. In the year 2015 alone there were 3027 deaths by suicide alone, the average being 8.3 deaths by suicide each day in Australia. The highest age specific suicide rates was noticed within the males of 85+ age group with 68 deaths ("About the Australian Bureau of Statistics", 2017)

However, within females the highest rates of suicides were observed in the age group of 45-49. As reported by Andersson & Titov (2014), over the last 10 years the rate has been considerably higher in males than in females.

However as argued by LaMontagne et al. (2014), teenage suicide is rising at an alarming rate with per 22.5 out of 100000 deaths attributed to death by suicide alone. Research and study has shown that people with past history of suicidal attempts are at greater risk of attempting something similar actions in the future. Additionally, people facing neglect from their families along with alcohol and drug abuse are at major risk of facing depression.

Analysing the risk of depression and suicide

Depression among the white Australians

The current decade has recorded high rates of depression within the white Australian youth groups. Figures and estimates have shown that one million people in Australia currently suffer from depression and 2.3 million suffer from anxiety ("Home | Suicide Prevention Australia", 2017)

Evidences from the Australian Bureau of statistics (ABS) have shown that in the year 2008 alone 10,000 youngsters lived with depression. As commented by Fazel et al. (2014), less than 50% of the population had been actually receiving care for depression management. With only 30% of them whose care requirements have been actually met whereas the rest have been only partially met. This could be attributed to the lack of infrastructure along with optimum levels of awareness in the affected population. The causative factors have been identified to be immense peer pressure, loneliness, economic stress, abusive history, work pressure, drug and substance abuse . The current youth of Australia have been found to be increasingly inclined towards the use of alcohol or substance abuse ("Mental Health Commission of NSW", 2017). This has been seen as a strategy for coping up with the additional levels of stress that a person might be subjected to.

Suicide among Australian aboriginal groups

The aboriginal groups have been the first inhabitants of the native land of Australia. These people were found to possess a strong spiritual connection with their land and religions. However, the colonisation by the British forcibly removed them from their native land. The indigenous Australians thus had to face huge number of challenges as per the basic rights and privileges of the community were questioned (Folkman, 2013). The lack of support and social inclusion often limited their resources. Thus, the community was deprived in terms adequate living standards and basic amenities such as education and better lifestyle. As mentioned by Anestis et al. (2014), the lack of social inclusion and constant rejection from the society often generates feelings of negativity which could perpetuate into suicidal behaviours.

Factors affecting mental health condition

In this context, Jonathan was a 19 year old boy undergoing electrical training course at the Technical and further education had been admitted to the hospital with attempt to suicide by drug overdose. He had been living with his father and his younger sister after the loss of his mother. Jonathan lost his mother to breast cancer and has still not been able to accept his mum’s death. However, in his reinstating report Jonathan had mentioned that he shared a wonderful relationship with his father. However, ever since the death of his mother Jonathan had grown emotionally distant from his father. The analysis of the condition of Jonathan pointed at a number of factors which might have triggered the development of the present state of melancholy. One of the factors being loss of a parent along with lack of social and emotional support. Jonathan had been going through impulsive phases where he had contemplated suicide more than once. Moreover, the mood disturbances of Jonathan had also affected his relationship with his girlfriend. As reported by him, Jonathan had also lost interest in his work making him miserable at work. The evaluation of the conditions of Jonathan points at the development of severe depression.

Ethical principles related to mental health care

The ethical principles are very critical in the provision of optimal health care and services to an individual. In this context, a number of ethical principles need to be considered for sufficient assessment of care risk and management. In this respect a balanced act of beneficence can help in comprehending the problem situation of the care support user (Thomas et al. 2014). The act of beneficence promotes charity, kindness and moral obligations which should be hold upmost in delivery of care services to the patient ("Mental Health Commission of NSW", 2017). In this context, reinstating about the present dilemma faced by Jonathan may help in providing emotional support to the patient.

As a practising nurse I should also establish a greater level of understanding with Jonathan to analyse the current set of feelings he might be going through. This might help me in preventing any future act of non-maleficince within the hospital setup. The non-maleficence could be defined as an act of harming others of self within a care set up. However, as argued by Kane (2015), increased interference by the care professional in regulating the daily set of activities of an individual can give rise to conflicting situations. Thus, inculcation of programmes as the Mental Health Capacity Act, 2005, helps in assuring that least restrictive care is being provided to the individuals. Additionally, the confidentiality acts are also very important in the context of health and support care where the private details of the patient records are safely exchanged across the channel. It could be guaranteed with the help of the Data Protection Act, 1998.

Interventions for high priority mental health risk

Working as a practising nurse I need to conduct a suitable risk assessment and suggest plausible interventions to the client. From the analysis of the present situation of Jonathan i deciphered that Jonathan has been going through ruminating thoughts of suicide. Though he had failed in his last attempt, there are chances that he might contemplate something similar in the future. Thus, caring for Jonathan I need to act beneficently by being kind and understanding towards him. I need to empathize with the feelings of the support users strongly so that I can strike a chord of confidentiality with them. This help in the development of an effective communication channel between me and the support user. Additionally, I could involve my client in the decision making process which helps in providing autonomy to the support user. Moreover, involving the family members of the support users can help in making informed choices. I think doing the same could also help in reducing the gap between Jonathan and his father.

Identification of the mental health concern and relevant interventions

I can undertake a number of steps and measures in providing suitable and relevant care options to the support users. The present analysis done by me as a professional nurse helps me in pointing out that Jonathan had been suffering from extended depression for a longer period of time. Thus, as a practising nurse I need to provide sufficient emotional counselling and support to the patient. Additionally, I can also involve the family members of the patient in the informed decision making process. The immediate medical interventions which could be provided to service users like Jonathan could be prescribing the approved and standard doses of antidepressants for him. As commented by Visser et al. (2014), providing sufficient autonomy to the support users in deciding their care plan can also act in the favour of the treatment.


Depression among the youths is one of the grave concerns of the present decade. The same has been linked with multiple factors including genetic pre-disposition. As per the case study the patient here had been hitting an all time low due to the loss of his mother. Moreover, he was lacking additional support from his father and girlfriend. With the help of the analysis the fact could be emphasized that the patient did not share transparent and open communication interface with anyone his near and dear relatives. Additionally, the patient had been suffering at the professional interface also. Thus, the patient was in need of help and supervision from a multiple number of channels.

The unnoticed depression can further promulgate into suicidal feelings in an individual. Thus, increased care and supervision need to be delivered to the support users in the form of effective counselling sessions. There are a number of ethical dilemmas associated with depression management and care. In this context, the cultural feelings and myths possessed by different cultures need to be taken into consideration for designing of effective care programs. Moreover, medical interventions along with community development programme could serve as a huge motivation factor for the aggrieved person.


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