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Increase in suicide rate puts us back to where we were two years ago, highlighting more work needs to be done

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has today releases its Causes of Death report, highlighting that Australians are taking their lives at an unacceptable rate.

The number of Australians dying by suicide is higher than ever before, with figures showing 3,128 people took their lives in 2017 compared to 2,866 in 2016.

SANE Australia CEO, Jack Heath, said that the increase in the overall suicide rate has put us back to where we were two years ago and we’re now heading towards nine Australians taking their life every day.

  • The suicide rate increased from 11.8 to 12.7 per 100,000 Australians
  • There was an average of 8.6 deaths by suicide in Australia each day
  • There were 2,348 male deaths at a rate of 19.2 per 100,000
  • There were 780 female deaths at a rate of 6.3 per 100,000
  • Suicide death rates are up in ACT, QLD, WA, NT and NSW
  • Suicide death rates are down in TAS with rates remaining the same in VIC and SA

“Suicide rates are heading in the wrong direction and we need to change this.  We also know that the risk of suicide is higher for those living with complex mental illness and we still have a long way to go in reducing the stigma associated with complex mental illness and in facilitating access to adequate evidence-based care and support.  It is now more important than ever to support people and help them understand that the world is better off with them.

“We need to work more closely with people who have attempted suicide to better understand what we can do to assist people when they need it most - it is really important that we encourage people to seek help early on.

“We hope that the recent investments by the Australian Government in suicide prevention programs will result in fewer deaths over the coming years.

“SANE Australia is committed to playing its part in helping to reduce suicide by working with our sector colleagues, governments and the wider community.”

Anyone looking for information, support and guidance from mental health professionals can contact the SANE Help Centre on 1800 187 263 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from 10am-10pm AEST.  

For anyone in crisis, call:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Line 1800 659 467
  • Mensline 1300 789 978
  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

About SANE Australia

SANE Australia is a national mental health charity working to support four million Australians affected by complex mental illness including schizophrenia, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression and anxiety.

To request an interview with SANE Australia CEO, Jack Heath, please contact:

Lauren Redpath
Senior Media and PR Advisor
Phone: 0439 708 381
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Last updated: 26 September 2018
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