Facts about suicide in Australia
Suicide has devastating impacts on families, friends and communities. Each year, more than 2,500 Australians die by suicide and over 65,000 people make a suicide attempt. It's the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age – but it can be prevented.
- around 400,000 Australians experience suicidal thoughts
- over 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt
- around 35,000 Australians are admitted to hospital for suicide-related injuries
- more than 2,500 Australians die by suicide.
Suicide as a cause of death
- Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between 15 and 44 years of age.
- Young Australians are more likely to take their own life than die in motor vehicle accidents.
- In 2014, the highest age-specific suicide rate for males was in the 85+ age group. The next highest was in males in the 40-44 age group and the 50-54-year age group.
- In 2014, about 75% of people who died by suicide were males and 25% were females.
No matter who suicide affects, it has a devastating impact on families and the wider community. Most people don't really want to end their life, they want the pain to stop.
Causes of suicide
The causes of suicide are complex. Factors that may contribute to suicide include:
- stressful life events
- mental illness
- physical illness
- drug and alcohol abuse
- poor living circumstances.
There are also factors that make us more resilient, such as our connections to our family, friends and wider support network.
Some people having suicidal thoughts might feel afraid to ask for help as there is a 'stigma' around suicide.