Infographic: Suicide rates in Australia are now at a ten year high - Data ABS (EntreHub NewsNow)
The suicide rate in Australia continues to rise as the service providers and governments struggle with prevention strategies. In data released on the 28th of September by the Australian Bureau of Statistics the rate of suicide has, for the first time in the country’s history, breached the 3,000 number.
In 2015 3,027 Australians died as a result of suicide; 2,292 were men and 735 were women. The data also shows a worrying trend when it comes to women in their later years. Sue Murray, the CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia, told Australian media that "We have seen a 26 per cent increase in the suicide rates among women and the numbers of suicides among women (rise) over the last five-year period," Ms Murray said. "We don't know why this is occurring, so we really need to see the government come on board with investment in research, so we can really understand what it is that is bringing about this increase and the way in which [women] are choosing to take their own lives."
Of great concern is the number of teenage girls now taking their lives, which has nearly doubled in the space of a single year (or reporting period).
Suicide Prevention Advocate and CEO of Lifeline, Pete Shmigel, has called for a national summit to stop suicide: “We do not want 3000 lives lost to be the new tragic benchmark when it comes to deaths by suicide each year in Australia,” Mr Shmigel said. “We as a sector and community are failing our most vulnerable and we must do more and do better.
“This means starting a national conversation about how we can respond differently. While we’re prescribing more medication for mental illness than ever before – including a doubling in the rate of antidepressant use since 2000 – we are not doing enough to combat social factors that lead so many to choose death over living.
“Instead, we need to focus on asking people less of ‘what's wrong with you?’ and more of ‘what's happening for you and how can I unconditionally support you?’. After all, there’s no magic pill for loneliness, social isolation, relationship breakdowns and other personal crises.”
“Lifeline’s more than 50 years of answering calls from people in crisis shows us that care, compassion and connection are key barriers to suicide,” Mr Shmigel said.
“More than a hundred thousand Australians survive a suicidal crisis each year and, with more than 150 suicide safety plans created everyday by Lifeline alone, we know better than most the power of human heart-ware in stopping suicide.”
"Suicide was the leading cause of death among all people 15-44 years of age, and the second leading cause of death among those 45-54 years of age," the ABS has said.
"In 2015, suicide accounted for one-third of deaths (33.9 percent) among people 15-24 years of age, and over a quarter of deaths (27.7 percent) among those 25-34 years of age."
The suicide rate for men were three times higher than for women, at 19.3 deaths per 100,000 people;
Northern Territory had the highest suicide rate, 21 deaths per 100,000;
suicide accounted for 1.9 percent of all deaths in Australia;
the highest rate of suicide for men came at age 85 and over; for females it was 45-49;
87 children under the age of 17 committed suicide in 2015;
in the NT, the child suicide rate was 13.6 deaths per 100,000; the next highest state recorded 3.1 deaths per 100,000
Access to resources:
1. Communities matter - a toolkit designed for communities whereby they can build support and networks to respond to issues in their communities as well as work on preventative strategieshttps://communitiesmatter.suicidepreventionaust.org/
2. Conversations matter - a site that provides information on what you can do to open a conversations with mates or loved oneshttp://www.conversationsmatter.com.au/
If you or anyone you know needs help:
Lifeline on 13 11 14 Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978 Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 Headspace on 1800 650 890
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