Youth sui­cide rate ma­jor cause for con­cern

The Advocate (Perth) - - NEWS -

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

The Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics re­port Causes of Death 2016 shows that 2866 peo­ple died from in­ten­tional self-harm, 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, down slightly 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 sta­tis­tics were a “call to ac­tion”.

“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.”

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

“It is im­per­a­tive we work col­lab­o­ra­tively with Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties to find the right so­lu­tions to chang­ing this,” Mr Har­ris said.

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

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