Suicide rate in Australia reaches 10-year high
The Australian 1:20PM September 28, 2016
Suicide has reached a 10-year high in Australia as 3027 people killed themselves last year, the largest cause of death among 15 to 44-year-olds.
Last year, 12.6 people in every 100,000 killed themselves compared to 12 the year before, 11.4 in 2012 and a low of 10.4 in 2006.
Men are more than three times likely to die by suicide than women and men aged 85 and over have the highest rate of any age or gender in the country: they die by their own hand at a rate of almost 40 people in every 100,000.
Lifeline Australia today called for the establishment of a National Summit to Stop Suicide.“We do not want 3000 lives lost to be the new tragic benchmark when it comes to deaths by suicide each year in Australia,” Lifeline Australia chief executive Pete Shmigel said
“We as a sector and community are failing our most vulnerable and we must do more and do better.
“This means starting a national conversation about how we can respond differently. While we’re prescribing more medication for mental illness than ever before – including a doubling in the rate of antidepressant use since 2000 – we are not doing enough to combat social factors that lead so many to choose death over living.”
Despite people in their 80s and 40s dying at a higher rate, those in their late teens and in their 20s made up the vast majority of total deaths last year.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children between the ages of five and 17 died at a rate of almost 10 in every 100,000 between 2011-2015 compared to a rate of 1.8 for non-indigenous children.
Indigenous people died by suicide at more than double the rate of non-indigenous people across all age groups.