Stats de­mand ac­tion

SLIGHT DE­CLINE BUT SUI­CIDE FIG­URES A WORRY

Melville Times - - News - Aaron Cor­lett

It is not OK that any young per­son be­lieves that end­ing their life is a pre­ferred choice.

DE­SPITE fig­ures show­ing a drop in the num­ber of sui­cidere­lated deaths across Aus­tralia, Bur­swood or­gan­i­sa­tion Youth Fo­cus be­lieves more in­vest­ment and aware­ness is needed to save young lives.

The Aus­tralian Bureau of Statis­tics (ABS) re­port Causes

of Death 2016 shows that 2866 peo­ple died from in­ten­tional self-harm in Aus­tralia, com­pared to 3027 the pre­vi­ous year.

In WA, 371 peo­ple died as a re­sult of sui­cide last year, com­pared to 394 in 2015.

This in­cluded 54 young peo­ple aged be­tween 15 and 24, slightly down from 55 the pre­vi­ous year.

Youth Fo­cus com­mu­nity en­gage­ment gen­eral man­ager Chris Har­ris said the rate of youth sui­cide had reached cri­sis point and the ABS statis­tics were a “call to ac­tion”.

“This data in­di­cates that the rate of sui­cide, which is the most preventable cause of death in young peo­ple, is not ac­cept­able,” he said.

“It is not ok that any young per­son be­lieves that end­ing their life is a pre­ferred choice.

“We are see­ing more in­vest­ment in sui­cide preven­tion than ever be­fore, yet th­ese statis­tics are still un­ac­cept­ably high.”

The ABS data shows sui­cide deaths ac­counted for a greater pro­por­tion of Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der deaths 5.5 per cent com­pared to non-in­dige­nous Aus­tralians 1.7 per cent.

“Sadly, the data re­flects high rates of sui­cide for the tra­di­tional own­ers of our coun­try,” Mr Har­ris said.

“It is im­per­a­tive that we work col­lab­o­ra­tively with Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties to find the right so­lu­tions to chang­ing this in the com­ing years.”

Mr Har­ris said ex­perts were op­ti­mistic and hope­ful that the high num­ber of young peo­ple tak­ing their own lives could be ar­rested.

“To re­verse th­ese num­bers we have to work to­gether as a com­mu­nity,” he said.

It is a so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that young peo­ple re­ceive the sup­port they need at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity and prefer­ably be­fore they need spe­cial­ist mental health ser­vices.”

If you or some­one you know needs ur­gent sup­port please con­tact the Sui­cide Call Back Ser­vice on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Life­line on 13 11 14.

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