Suicide prevention

Suicide is a challenging topic to think and talk about. It’s also highly complex – the truth is that we often don’t know why people take, or attempt to take, their own lives.

Sometimes when people are experiencing severe mental health issues or facing a situation they can’t cope with, they may attempt to end their life. They might get to a point where they feel this is their only option to relieve suffering and unbearable pain.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in men under the age of 45. LGBTI people have the highest rates of both suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in Australia; fifteen per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people report current suicidal thoughts, and same sex attracted Australians have up to fourteen times higher rates of suicide attempts.1

Talking about suicide

Talking to a friend about his suicidal thoughts can be challenging, but the only real way to find out how he’s feeling is to ask. Talking about it with him and showing you care can make all the difference. It could save his life.

Don’t be afraid to ask direct questions – these can help you understand what your friend is going through and it won't make things worse.

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If your friend tells you he’s thinking of taking his own life, asking some follow-up questions can help you work out if he’s at immediate risk:

  • "Do you have a plan to take your own life?"
  • "Do you have access to ways to carry out your plan?"
  • "Do you have a timeframe for taking your life?"
  • If your friend tells you he’s thinking about suicide, make sure you take it seriously.
  • Encourage him to seek support, listen without judgement, and reassure him that you’re there for him.

Learn more


If you’re not sure what to say, Conversations Matter can help. This online resource is designed to help you feel supported to talk about suicide, break down stigma and improve understanding.


Suicide and crisis support

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.

To talk to someone now call:

 



1. For a full list of references for the statistics on this page, and any others across the website, please visit the references page and search through the relevant category.

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