Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Things they could fix in Canberra #10

This next "thing" to fix in Canberra is going to be quite harsh, but I believe it is a reflection of the environment - the suicide rate in Canberra. My intention is not to offend or disrespect the memory of anyone lost to suicide - but to address a propaganda campaign trying to attract people to the region.

For many years, people have speculated about the suicide rate in Canberra being high. There is now documentation that the suicide rate per capita in Canberra is higher than New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland (the suicide rate is published in a brochure made by the Australian Government).

Loss of life, especially when someone takes their own, is truly a sad event. Suicide is very tragic.

According to the website's front page:

Take advantage of the employment opportunities and lifestyle benefits available in Canberra, Australia's capital city.

There are jobs available right now in Canberra for skilled workers across selected industries. Canberra's unemployment rate is consistently among the lowest in the nation at around 3.0%. The pay's good too - in fact, workers in Canberra enjoy the highest full-time average income in Australia.

What's more, Canberra offers a fantastic lifestyle for you and your family, with an outstanding school system, excellent health services, shorter commuting times, plenty of fresh air and community living. Much of what is best about Australia can be found in the nation's capital - it's a clean, safe and relaxed place to live.

Canberra has all the lifestyle amenities, city services and events of a world-class capital, yet the bush is on our doorstep and Sydney, the snowfields and south coast beaches are within easy reach.

If Canberra was so good, why is their per capita suicide rate higher than some other areas in Australia? Surely people would flock to Canberra and find it an utopian paradise.

I believe what the website fails to mention is that with the advantages of working in Canberra, comes the disadvantages of higher cost of living, higher petty crime, higher drug usage, all stemming from a higher boredom - as there is very little to do in Canberra. The typical resident is still elitist and arrogant.

To address this problem, the local Canberra government needs to determine why the city is "soulless" and boring, and why the mentality of its residents is to be elitist and arrogant. It will require a huge mentality shift in the people who choose to reside there. If they can bring in schemes to counter those problems, the city would be far more livable, it would attract more people, and, dare I predict, the suicide rate would be lowered.

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