Suicide: The Facts.
Every year over 3,000 people in Australia die by suicide. That’s between 8 and 10 Australians everyday and an estimated 180 people who attempt suicide, with nearly half hospitalised. It is the leading cause of death for people aged between 15-44, higher than the national road toll. More men than women die by suicide, however this statistic is changing due to the suicide rates in women increasing.
For every person who dies by suicide, there are at least 20 people who attempt to take own their own life. In Australia it has been estimated that approximately 67,000 people attempt suicide every year.
Western Australia has the highest suicide rate in the nation. The figures increase significantly in those who live in rural or remote areas and within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Suicide crosses all demographics and doesn't discriminate.
Suicide deaths have a domino effect that impacts on families, friends, workplaces and whole communities. For every suicide, thirty or more people will be directly affected. Over a 10-year period, nearly one million Australians will be impacted.
Those closest to the person who has died will often blame themselves. The combination of grief, guilt and remorse often remains for years. Due to the Australian public being poorly informed about suicide, the responses are further complicated by community stigma and perceptions.
Suicide risk is influenced by a number of factors - psychological, environmental, biological, sociological and cultural. The reality is that almost all people who attempt or complete suicide had one or more warning signs before their death.
Major Life Events
- Job insecurity, losing one’s job or being unemployed for an extended amount of time.
- Bullying or harassment
- Violence and abusive relationships
- Natural disasters
- Intimate partner problems
- Death of close friend or family member
All of these ‘life events’ or circumstances can act as triggers for suicidal behaviour or the person’s own coping mechanisms and resources becoming overwhelmed. In many other cases, it is clear that disabling mental health conditions were present but were unrecognised at the time.
We have a duty of care to make it easier for future generations to discuss and address suicide, providing them with the tools to recognise, acknowledge, and prevent suicide.
But first we need to start to talk about suicide. Talking about it does not cause it - we can all contribute and work together to stop the stigma and screw the taboo.