Australian Finance Review has published a series of articles highlighting the fact that Australia’s annual suicide rate remains at an all-time high.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, accounting for more than a quarter of all deaths.
The annual suicide death rate is estimated to be more than two and a half times higher than the global average.
In 2018, more than one in four Australian men aged 20 to 44 had attempted suicide, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
It was the highest rate in more than 10 years.
In 2020, almost six in 10 Australians aged 40 and over had attempted, according a ABS data analysis.
The suicide death rates are among the highest in the world, surpassing deaths caused by road accidents and falls.
The ABS data also shows that Australia has the highest rates of men aged 40 to 44 in Australia, at 12.3 per 100,000, and women in the same age group at 2.8 per 100.
However, the rates are significantly lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, at 1.9 per 100 and 1.5 per 100 respectively.
“We are still far from being able to tackle this issue at this point, but the evidence that we have is clear,” said Professor Daniel Henson from the University of Queensland’s School of Public Health.
“The current levels of violence in our communities are a big reason why we are at this rate.”
We know that when we look at the social isolation we face in our community, we are less likely to seek help for mental health problems.
“The report from Australian Finance provides a number of key findings, including: Suicide is still the leading risk factor for death in Australia.
In the period from 2015 to 2020, the suicide rate for Australians in their 20s and 30s increased from 6.4 per 100 to 12.5, while the rate for those aged 40-44 rose from 2.7 to 2.9.
The rates for men and women are also at historic highs, at 6.1 and 4.4, respectively.
“It’s time for us to take a hard look at our approach to prevention, which has been a long-standing challenge.” “
Our suicide rate has been growing for decades, but we’ve now reached a point where we’ve hit a tipping point where this is now impacting on young people and families, and we have to be very concerned,” said Dr David Anderson, a professor of psychiatry at the University and lead author of the report.
“It’s time for us to take a hard look at our approach to prevention, which has been a long-standing challenge.”
The ABS found that people aged 50-59 were more likely to die by suicide than people aged 60-69, and those aged 70-74 were more than twice as likely as those aged under 30.
Dr Anderson said the rates for Aboriginal people were especially concerning.
“In some parts of Australia, particularly in remote communities, there are very few people who have a chance of being identified as Aboriginal and there is no effective community-based mental health support,” he said.
Aboriginal people are living longer and longer in Australia and the evidence suggests that we need to do more to support Aboriginal people to get better outcomes.”