WE MUST WORK TOGETHER TO REDUCE LIVES LOST TO SUICIDE

Startling statistics released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that the incidence of suicide in Australia is growing and are a reminder that urgent action is needed to reduce the amount of Australians who are taking their own lives each year.

According to the ABS Cause of Death statistics released today 2,864 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.

The report also highlights that a large proportion of those who take their own life are male. Approximately 75% of people who died by suicide were male, making intentional self-harm the 10th leading cause of death for this group.

The National Mental Health Commission recommended a 50% suicide reduction target by 2020 be adopted in its review into programmes and services.

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. 

Today’s ABS data makes it clear that 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. 

TUESDAY 8 MARCH 2016

 **For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au. Other services include Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467, Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 **

Senator Katy Gallagher is Labor's Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on State and Territory Relations