Rising suicide figures a national tragedy: Beyondblue

The figures show 2535 deaths were recorded as suicide in 2012, the equivalent of 37 men and 12 women each week, making suicide the fourteenth most common cause of death in the country.

The ABS said the number was likely to rise when the figures were finalised in two years, making the highest suicide rate in a decade.

Beyondblue chief executive Kate Carnell said the figures represent a national tragedy.

‘Most people would be shocked to know that Australians aged between 15 and 44, whether male or female, are more likely to die by suicide than anything else,’ she said.

‘If this many young and middle-aged people were dying in car accidents every day there would be a national uproar and major government inquiries and the problem would be addressed.

‘Because it is suicide, too often the problem is put in the too hard basket.’

Ms Carnell said research shows people with depression or anxiety were far more likely to attempt suicide, but stigma still prevented many people from seeking help.

People experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety were encouraged to seek support.

To speak to a trained professional, the beyondblue support service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1300 22 4636.

An online support service www.beyondblue.org.au/get- support is also available.