The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the Causes of Death data for 2017. The data shows that 3,128 people died from suicide, which is a 9.1% increase over last year.
In 2017, suicide was ranked as the 13th leading cause of death, moving up from 15th position in 2016. The only states which did not record an increase in suicide deaths were Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia. Queensland reported the highest increase in suicide deaths.
Suicide was the leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 44 years. Among people aged 15-24, suicide accounted for 36% of deaths.
Approximately 80% of intentional self-harm deaths had co-morbidities mentioned as contributing factors to death. Mood disorders, including depression, were present in 43% of deaths.
On the Line CEO Kim O’Neill said, “I am saddened to learn that the number of people who have died from intentional self-harm has increased by 9% since the previous year. These statistics remind us that suicide continues to be a public health concern for all of us. The ABS data also shows the rate among men is three times greater than that for females, which is similar to the previous year.”
“At On the Line, our Suicide Call Back Service line had a 23% increase in calls answered over the past year, and MensLine Australia had a 27% increase. Over the last year, On the Line has invested in ways to increase our efficiencies to answer more calls and use technology innovations to encourage help-seeking behaviour.
“These statistics are a reminder to all that we need to speak up and ask for help. We need to look out for our friends, family and co-workers and ask if they need our help.”
If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out to one of our counselling services. Our professional counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.