We all must work together to reduce lives lost to suicide

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report the incidence of suicide in Australia is growing, and Labor’s mental health shadow minister Senator Katy Gallagher says urgent bipartisan action is needed.

According to the ABS Cause of Death statistics, 2864 people took their own lives in 2014 – an increase of almost 13.5% from 2013 and the highest rate of suicide deaths in the last 10 years.

“These lost lives are a reminder that urgent action is needed to reduce the number of Australians taking their own lives each year,” Gallagher said. “The report also highlights a large proportion are male.

“Labor would establish 12 regional suicide prevention initiatives.”

“Approximately 75% of people who died by suicide were male, making intentional self-harm the 10th leading cause of death for this group,” she said.

The National Mental Health Commission has recommended a 50% suicide reduction target by 2020.

“Labor has committed to reduce suicides by 50 per cent over the next 10 years and would establish 12 regional suicide prevention initiatives as the first stage of working towards this target,” the shadow minister said.

“Labor stands ready to work in a bipartisan way.”

“The ABS data makes it clear the time for action is now if we are to start to reverse the trend and save lives, particularly in regional communities around Australia.

“Labor stands ready to work in a bipartisan way with the government to reduce the numbers of lives lost to suicide every year,” Senator Gallagher added.

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Originally published on the Labor Herald.