Thursday, 22 March 2012

Suicide an increasingly frequent cause of death in Australia (ABS Report)

Suicide rates are steadily increasing according to the latest Causes of Death Report released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics. This report records deaths by suicide for 2010 at 2,361, an increase of 480 deaths from 2007 - a useful baseline year when revised methods in data collection were adopted by the ABS.

The Australia Bureau of Statistics data on Causes of Death for 2010 show that the number of suicide deaths in Australia has increased since 2007, indicating that as a country we cannot be complacent. "More can be done to prevent this tragic cause of death," the Executive Director of the Lifeline Foundation, Alan Woodward said.

While Australia's suicide rate of 10.5 per 100,000 is relatively low by world standards, closer examination of the data shows male suicides account for around three quarters of these deaths, and that the male suicide rate peaks at 27.7 per 100,000 in the age group 40-44 years.

"The rates of death by suicide amongst males in Australia are high by any comparison," Mr Woodward said. "We also know there is a significant over representation of suicide in GBLTI and Indigenous communities, as well as in rural and remote Australians. If we are truly serious about closing the gap in Indigenous health and wellbeing, and in Indigenous life expectancy, then suicide should be front and centre for policy makers in this arena. In addition, we need to see more mitigation work at suicide hotspots, more public awareness about the myths and realities of suicide, and more activity that encourages help-seeking behaviours from at risk groups."

For more information on suicide prevention, visit www.lifeline.org.au. If you or someone you know needs crisis support, call 13 11 14.

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