Suicide remained the leading cause of premature death in Australia in 2015, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The ABS report Causes of Death, Australia, 2015 shows that death by suicide occurred at a rate of 12.6 per 100,000 people, an increase on that recorded in 2014 of 12.0 per 100,000 people.
Chair of the National Mental Health Commission, Allan Fels, said the new ABS data highlighted the importance of suicide prevention programs.
“Every life lost through suicide is a loss to the entire community,” he said.
“This new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics strengthens the need for agencies across the public, private and not for profit sectors to continue to work together to find effective, personalised and localised solutions.
“A special focus is needed for the most at risk groups including young people, residents of remote and rural areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“Whenever and wherever it can, the National Mental Health Commission will provide insight, advice and evidence to continuously improve Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention systems and act as a catalyst for change to achieve these improvements,” Professor Fels said.
The Advisory Group for Suicide Prevention is a nationally representative committee co-chaired by Lucy Brogden, a commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission and Sharon Jones from Relationships Australia Tasmania.
Established in response to a request in December 2015 by the federal Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, the new advisory group provides advice, expertise and strategic support for suicide prevention across Australia by identifying priorities and promoting action.