National suicide toll reaches tragic high
2864 suicides. Almost 8 per day. 1 every 3 hours.
Australia is facing a growing national suicide emergency with Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released today showing that 2864 people took their own lives in 2014 – an increase of almost 13.5 per cent from 2013.
Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel said it was now time for the Federal Government to formally acknowledge the national suicide emergency and take urgent action to stop more unnecessary deaths.
“Devastating is the only way to describe the increase in deaths by suicide in Australia,” Mr Shmigel said. “We cannot forget that behind these numbers are tragic stories of trauma and heartache for mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, friends, colleagues and whole communities.
“It’s perhaps even more devastating when we consider that the number of suicides can be reduced. With positive and practical steps, many of these are preventable deaths.
“Between 2002 and 2013, for example, Scotland implemented a 10-year national strategy and action plan that achieved an 18 per cent reduction in suicides. Over the same period, Australia saw a 20 per cent increase.
“The data released today shows that our country is heading in the wrong direction, with the suicide rate growing from 10.9 deaths by suicide per 100,000 Australians in 2013 to 12.0 deaths in 2014. It’s time for bold but achievable action from our Government and community leaders, particularly as we await the release of the upcoming 5th National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Reform Plan.
“We as a community cannot accept this needless loss of life and, to this end, Lifeline will launch a campaign later this week calling on the Federal Government to double funding for suicide prevention.”
Mr Shmigel said that if you or someone you know if feeling overwhelmed or thinking about suicide, help is available. He urged all people in distress – or concerned about another – to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24/7) or via the national charity’s nightly online Crisis Support Chat service.
To view the ABS Causes of Death 2014 data, click here.
For crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp