Through the Tropical Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Townsville Enterprise Emerging Leaders program, the BMP Fellowship’s current objective is to raise funds for research into youth suicide in rugby league, North Queensland. The BMP Fellowship’s, a Not for Profit, will enable the appointment of a postdoctoral fellow to conduct specific research to assist in the development of targeted interventions with the aim of suicide prevention.
Mental health has emerged as a major issue in regional Australia, with our North Queensland region now having the highest rate of youth suicide in the world. As reported in The Weekend Australian, a recent “causes of death” publication from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that in 2012, suicide was the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 years.
The Bishop Michael Putney Fellowship has recognize that much needed research and awareness is required to start addressing this problem in our community. In particular, it was the recent deaths of a number of young men in rugby league in our region that prompted the Fellowship team to take action to prevent this. In 2015, there were 6 suicides in the QRL alone. Supported by the National Rugby League (NRL), the Bishop Michael Putney Fellowship is aiming to initiate in depth research into the causes of suicide from a mental health and social sciences perspective among young rugby league players. While much research has been conducted on suicide, it is still largely an incomplete science that needs further investigation.