New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on causes of death shows suicide remains the leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 24 years1.
Nearly twice as many young men aged 15 to 24 years died by suicide in 2012 than young women, and young men’s rate of suicide remained stubbornly stable between 2007 and 2012.
Importantly, the data uncovered a concerning increase in suicide by young women aged 15 to 19, flagging a need for further investigation. Despite an overall reduction in the rate of youth suicide in Australia since 1997, this is the first serious indication of an upward trend in youth suicide in recent years.
After 16 years of delivering ReachOut.com we know the life-saving benefits of early intervention for youth mental health. Our challenge now lies in improving awareness and access to that help for many more young Australians.
Australia’s mental health sector works tirelessly to provide help to those who ask for it, but if we are to achieve a significant reduction in youth suicide rates we must reach young people earlier.
We must find the 70%ii of young Australians with mental health difficulties who struggle alone, who don’t understand what they’re going through or are too scared to reach out for help.
At ReachOut.com by Inspire Foundation, our role in reducing the rate of young people’s suicide is more important than ever. With over 1.4 million visitors to our service per year, ReachOut.com is the entry point into the mental health system for young Australians. Our mission is to equip young people with practical tools to help themselves and others through difficult times, connect them with others who have made it through similar challenges, and refer them to specialist clinical and crisis services across Australia.
The suicide of a young person devastates families and communities. With this new data in mind, it is incumbent on all of us to get young Australians to the help they need, when they need it.
CEO, ReachOut.com by Inspire Foundation
[i] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014), Causes of Death, Australia 2012
[ii] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007), National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2007
Need to talk to someone right now?
National 24/7 crisis phone services include Lifeline 13 11 14, Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800.
ReachOut.com is Australia’s leading online youth mental health service. Designed to help young people under 25 tackle everything from finding motivation to getting through really tough times, the service provides practical tools, forums and information in a safe and anonymous online environment.
ReachOut.com is the help young people need, where and when they need it.
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