In Australia, we lost 3027* lives to suicide in 2015 with an estimated further 65000 suicide attempts made. Suicide is multifaceted and complex in nature.
For decades there has been a strong, deeply embedded perception internationally and within Australia that the majority of suicides are predominantly related to or caused by mental illness. In 2010, research conducted by the Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP), using the Queensland Suicide Register (including 13,000 plus cases) showed that 60% of deaths by suicide occurred with people with no known mental illness. Of the cases where mental illness was associated with the suicide (40%), this relationship occurred also in the context of one or more other risk factors.
A multitude of factors, including individual, societal, environmental, cultural, social may interact to influence suicide. Common triggers for suicidal behaviour can be relationship breakdown, financial stresses, loss of gainful employment, loss of stable housing arrangements.
We believe that many suicides are preventable and that there are positive preventative steps that can be taken to guard ourselves against suicidal thoughts and ways that we can support people when they are faced with situations that can lead to emotional and mental distress. We are also very aware that invitations for help can range from very subtle to some that are far more obvious. In some instances, families and friends can be completely blindsided by the suicide of a loved one.
Acknowledging the mental health and well-being (protective factors) of individuals, families and communities is paramount as is knowing where to get help, and being open to asking for it.
* (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014 data)
- When holding group discussions about suicide prevention
- To those bereaved by suicide
- When communities are affected by suicide
- When someone is thinking about suicide
Support for people bereaved through suicide.
“finding your way back” information booklets:
- Finding your way back a resource for people who have attempted suicide
- Finding our way back a resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people after a suicide attempt