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Everymind response to ABS Causes of Death data release

23 October 2020

Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the Causes of Death data for 2019, including preliminary suicide death data for Australia.

This year’s release has reiterated the need to renew our commitment to suicide prevention in Australia – as individuals, services, communities and governments.

The latest data shows that in 2019, 3,318 people died by suicide nationally, which equates to more than nine Australians every day. This is an increase of deaths from 3,138 in 2018.

Everymind Acting Director, Associate Professor Carmel Loughland says that the latest figures should not sit well with anyone.

“Today’s release is sobering and highlights the need for not only reform, but more research and resources in suicide prevention.

"With the number of suicide deaths over 3,000 per year, it represents a distressing number of individuals, families and communities impacted by suicide each year in Australia.

“One life lost, one family impacted, one community grieving is one too many,” said Associate Professor Loughland.

The data released today indicates that men are still approximately three times more likely to die by suicide than women, which has been consistent over the past 10 years.

Of the states and territories, all recorded an increase in the numbers of suicide deaths, except for Queensland which saw a slight decrease in 2019.

“We need to empower and build capacity across our community to ensure we have an accessible and responsive service system, and better supports for people who have been impacted,” added Associate Professor Loughland.

In this year’s release, the ABS made a time series adjustment to the statistics for suicide deaths following its investigation in to death registrations in Victoria. This investigation identified 2,812 deaths from all causes that had been registered in 2017, 2018 and 2019, but had not previously been provided to the ABS. The 2017, 2018 and 2019 suicide death data have been adjusted to correct this issue.

“Preventing suicide is a national priority and it is important that we have access to the most accurate data available to better respond to suicide and self-harm,” said Associate Professor Loughland.

“Data improvement is necessary for not only informing policy, but for the delivery of projects to ensure we are supporting the most vulnerable members of community when and where they need it most.”

With over 3,000 people per year dying by suicide and hundreds of thousands of people further affected each year, Everymind stands with other organisations in the mental health and suicide prevention sector committing to do things differently. We also dedicate ourselves to working in partnership and build the capabilities of others so our work can have a positive impact on more people, now and in the future.

For more information about today’s ABS release and Mindframe advice on reporting suicide, please visit: www.mindframe.org.au/absdatasummary2019

To find out more about suicide prevention in Australia visit Life in Mind: www.lifeinmind.org.au

If you or someone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Media enquiries:

Everymind: 0468 969 041 [email protected]