News

Beyond Blue welcomes slight dip in suicide rates

1 October 2019

New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week revealed 3046 Australians died by suicide in 2018, slightly down from the previous year.

The ABS preliminary 2018 causes of death data which includes figures related to intentional self-harm.

The figures show that 3046 Australians took their own lives in 2018, 2.5 percent down from 2017 when 3128 people died by suicide.

“This slight reduction is encouraging and may suggest that community and government efforts to address this very serious issue are beginning to reach the people who most need support,” Beyond Blue Chair the Hon Julia Gillard AC said.

“Yet each day, eight Australians are still dying by suicide and six of them are men. It’s important we remember this is not about numbers, it’s about people,” Ms Gillard said.

“We must do more to support the individuals, families and communities affected by suicide. We need structural reform that includes prevention, early intervention and awareness initiatives, and we need collaboration across governments and communities because we all have a role to play in reducing suicide.”

Of the 3046 registered deaths in 2018, 2320 were men and 726 were women. This means men still account for three quarters of suicide deaths in Australia.

The suicide rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people remains twice that of the Australian population as a whole. Last year, 169 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people died by suicide; 129 were male and 40 female.

For more information, visit the ABS.

Beyond Blue continues to expand its suicide prevention and early intervention programs which now include:

  • Collaborating with other leading mental health organisations in the #YouCanTalk campaign to assure people you don’t have to be a mental health professional to ask if somebody is thinking about suicide and enable everyone to have a role in tackling the suicide rate
  • The Way Back Support Service for those who need support after being discharged from hospital following an attempted suicide. The program, which is being rolled out nationally as a complement to clinical support, is easing distress for people in suicidal crisis.
  • The BeyondNow suicide prevention app allows people to design their own safety plan, including who to call and what to do in a suicidal crisis.
  • More than 1.3 million people each year visit the Beyond Blue online forums to discuss mental health issues safely and anonymously with others who have similar experiences.
  • The Beyond Blue Support Service received more than 192,000 contacts last year via phone and online.

Key statistics:

  • 3046 people died by suicide
  • 12.1 per 100,000 died by suicide
  • Eight deaths per day by suicide in Australia
  • Men accounted for 76.2% of deaths by suicide, while women accounted for 23.8%
  • Suicide accounts for 1.9% of all deaths in Australia
  • The Northern Territory had the highest rate of all the States and Territories with 19.5 deaths per 100,000
  • Suicide accounted for the largest number of Years of Potential Life Lost with 80,319 years lost for males and 25,249 years for females.

Mental health experts are available 24/7 via the Beyond Blue Support Service 1300 22 4636 or for online chat at beyondblue.org.au/get-support.

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