Vulnerable people at risk of suicide in South Australia are to receive increased support with the launch of the state’s Suicide Prevention Plan 2017-2021.
The plan has been introduced at a time when Australia’s suicide rate is at a 10-year high.
About 3,000 Australians die by suicide each year – that is more than eight people every day and more than double our national road toll.
Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman acknowledged the South Australian Government’s continued commitment to increase support for people most at risk of suicide.
“These numbers are nothing short of alarming and we need a whole of community approach – from governments, community organisations and the public – to address it,” Ms Harman said.
“Investing in promotion, prevention and early intervention is the best approach to reducing rates of suicide.
“The South Australian Government is addressing suicide risk by working with schools, workplaces, health services and other community settings – places where people live, learn and work.
“These are the best places to build resilience, reduce suicide risk, cut down stigma and seek support.”
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealed suicide is the leading cause of death for women and men aged between 15 and 44; people in the prime of their lives.
There are more than 65,000 suicide attempts each year and we know that men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women.
The risk of suicide is extremely high in the three months following a suicide attempt with up to one in four expected to try again.
Beyond Blue’s The Way Back Support Service provides practical support for people who have attempted suicide after their release from hospital.
The program was designed to give people the tools, practical and emotional support and motivation to stay alive at one of the most difficult times of their lives.
“There is no single cause of suicide – it is a complex behaviour with many contributing factors, such as social, cultural, economic and biological,” Ms Harman said.
“It is heartening to see the South Australian Plan focus on delivering care following discharge from hospital for this vulnerable population.”
Mental health professionals are available 24/7 at the Beyond Blue Support Service – 1300 22 46 36 or via beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat or email response.