National Suicide Data Release: Lifeline WA urges focus on hope and recovery

National Suicide Data Release: Lifeline WA urges focus on hope and recovery

National Suicide Data Release: Lifeline WA urges focus on hope and recovery teaser

27 Sep 2017

National suicide data has been released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today, with Lifeline WA welcoming the slight reduction in deaths while recognising that approximately one person dies by suicide every day in Western Australia.
Lifeline WA Chief Executive Officer Lorna MacGregor said that despite the tragic figures, Western Australians should also remember that thousands of those who experienced suicidal ideation found paths to recovery each year.
"The ABS data represents the immense and overpowering challenges that many West Australians experience, from loneliness and relationship breakdown to economic hardship and mental illness," Ms MacGregor said.
“Our message to people who might be struggling is that tough times do pass – they do for many thousands of Western Australians each year and they can for you too."
Ms MacGregor also said that the last year had seen important initiatives in the State’s approach to suicide prevention.
"We have seen an increase in community-driven suicide prevention activities, a clear strategy to deal with the pervasive issue of suicide in our State and bi-partisan support for stopping suicide," Ms MacGregor said.
"However, as today's numbers show, we need to continue to focus our efforts to properly tackle this heartbreaking public health issue."
Key WA findings from the 2016 national suicide data release include:
  • 371 Western Australians died by suicide at a rate of 14.4 per 100,000; this is a decrease on the 2015 figures (394 suicides, rate of 15.3 per 100 000 in 2015)
  • Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Western Australians between ages 15 and 44
  • There were 266 suicides by males, and 105 by females in WA (for females this is the highest number in ten years)
  • Western Australia has the third highest rate of suicide in the country, with 14.4 people per 100 000, following the Northern Territory (19.3) and Tasmania (17.0)
  • Of all deaths in Western Australia in 2016, 2.5% was attributed to suicide.
The ABS Causes of Death 2016 data can be viewed here. Lifeline WA supports adherence to the Mindframe Media guidelines on accurate and safe suicide reporting. Please consider these guidelines when covering today’s ABS data release.

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