Emerald, a mining services town with a population of 13,500, has lost 10 people to suicide in the past six months and 18 in the last year, Nine.com.au understands.
Many of those who have taken their own lives have been in their teens or early 20s.
More than 2500 people have signed an online petition pleading with the government to open a Headspace service in Emerald.
Headspace acts as a "one-stop shop” for young people seeking help with mental health, physical health, alcohol and drugs, connecting those in need with the services available in their area.
“We have seen unfortunately an increase in suicides over the last 12 months. We have got a hurting community and we need more resources within the community,” Anglicare Central Queensland Counselling and Youth coordinator Hayley Finger said.
“A lot of services are at capacity, there is definitely a need for more support and funding especially within the youth and especially within the age of 18-25.”
The decision on where Headspace services are located rests with the Health Department and Health Minister Greg Hunt, who are advised on each region’s needs by the local public health network (PHN), a spokesperson for Headspace told nine.com.au.
Despite its overstretched resources, Ms Finger said the community was rallying together to support its youth and equip all community members with the skills to talk about mental health issues.
The community has formed a Central Highlands Suicide Prevention Group, where the council, local health services, schools, charities and families directly impacted by suicide are working together to tackle the problem.
Earlier this month, Lifeline visited Emerald to run a suicide prevention workshop, which was attended by more than 100 people.
“It’s about when we have to have the conversation around mental health and suicide, every community member is equipped,” Ms Finger said.
“That’s the long-term goal. It’s breaking the stigma of I don’t want to talk about it because it’s too hard.
“The conversation should be as natural as what are we having for dinner tonight.”
If you or anyone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800, SANE Helpline 1800 18 72 63 or Beyond blue 1300 22 4636.
Contact reporter Emily McPherson at email@example.com.
Source:© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019