West Aussies less likely to seek help
West Australians are only half as likely to use crisis support services as others across the nation, despite having one of the highest suicide rates in the country.
Lifeline WA chief executive Lorna MacGregor said 55,266 local calls were made to the charity’s 13 11 14 crisis line in 2015-16, showing a growing demand.
But only the equivalent of 2 per cent of West Australians sought help from Lifeline compared with the national average of 3.5 per cent.
“Our latest statistics show that thousands more Western Australians are reaching out to our trained crisis supporters, but we also remain concerned that helpseeking behaviour in WA is lower than the national average,” she said.
She said it was concerning because the suicide rate in WA was 14.4 people per 100,000.
Lifeline WA also helped 14,880 people through its nightly online Crisis Support Chat service, a 15 per cent increase since last year.
“This indicates the deep isolation, anxiety and sadness experienced by many in our community,” Ms MacGregor said.
“We also know that due to the stigma around mental ill health, many more people are suffering in silence.”
“By leading an open conversation about mental illness and suicide in our State and delivering more frontline community training, Lifeline WA can help more people who feel like taking their life is the only option.”
Community education workshops focusing on suicide prevention and recognising signs of mental illness health in the workplace showed an increase, with 3124 people attending in the past year.
Organisations wanting details of the workshops can contact Lifeline WA on 9261 4444.
If you or someone you know is thinking of suicide, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit lifelinewa.org.au.