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The letter that left Scott Morrison devastated

The letter that left Scott Morrison devastated

Scott Morrison has shared an “upsetting” letter that he recently received.

“I get a lot of letters. We all do. All parliamentarians do,” the prime minister said in Canberra on Tuesday morning.

“I probably get a few more than I used to these days. I got one that was very upsetting recently.”

A few years ago, Morrison and his wife Jenny took a picture with a “beaming” teenager at a friend’s wedding in Western Sydney.

The prime minister recently learned that the boy had since died by suicide.

“I had a photo, Jenny and I with a beautiful young family and three kids, and recently I had a letter from the mother in that photo,” he said.

“The beaming teenage boy in that photo, Luke, had taken his own life in the past year and she’d written to me to tell me about it.

“When you look at the photo, there’s no telltale sign. There’s nothing. A beautiful young boy there with a beautiful family. He was 17.

“More than half of all Australian adults personally know someone who has died by suicide and can tell a story like this. This is a curse, as I’ve described it, on our society. That reaches into families, it reaches in to communities and it’s indiscriminate. And it causes carnage, hurt, pain, loss, for those left behind.”

Morrison was speaking at the Suicide Prevention Australia breakfast. He launched a report on suicide in Australia, which found that six men and two women commit suicide in Australia each day, amounting to 3,128 suicide deaths every year. Should the worsening rates continue, the number could grow to 4,430 by 2030.

“The time to take action is now - Australia cannot afford another decade of increasing suicide rates,” said Suicide Prevention Australia chief executive Nieves Murray.

If you are experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide, you can call Lifeline 131 114 or beyondblue 1300 224 636 or visit lifeline.org.au or beyondblue.org.au.