Anglicare SA

6 Startling Facts About Suicide in Australia

In Australia an average of eight people take their own lives every day; that’s one every three hours. Over the years countless organisations have been created...

In Australia an average of eight people take their own lives every day; that’s one every three hours.

Over the years countless organisations have been created to bring this too often overlooked issue into the light, but despite all the campaigns around suicide prevention staged in the past 20 years rates are continuing to rise.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, and this year’s theme is ‘Take a minute, change a life’ to encourage us to take a minute to think about personal attitudes and behaviours around suicide.

In order to remind us of just how many Aussie families are touched by suicide each year we thought we’d compile a few startling facts that highlight the sheer scale of the issue.

Australia’s suicide rate is at its highest level in 13 years

 
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) our suicide rate recently hit a 13-year high. In 2015, 3,027 Australians took their own lives.

The increase can be largely attributed to a rise in the suicide rate among middle-aged and young women.

Suicide rate rise

Men are three times more likely to take their own lives

 
While we’ve recently seen an increase in the suicide rate among women, males remain 300% more likely to take their own lives than females.

According to the ABS, “age-specific deaths rates for males aged between 40 and 54 were all greater than 30 deaths per 100,000 males. Suicide accounted for 12.4% of all male deaths for these combined age groups. The age-specific suicide rate for males was lowest in the 15-19 year age group (11.8 deaths per 100,000 males), yet suicide accounted for 28.6% of all deaths in that age group.”

 

Suicide Rates

Indigenous suicide rates are between two and four times those of non-Indigenous Australians in the 15 and 44 age groups

 
While suicide is a big problem across our entire society, for Australia’s Aboriginal peoples, it’s at epidemic proportions.

As the esteemed suicide prevention researcher Gerry Georgatos recently wrote in The Guardian Australia the figures below may not even represent the full extent of the issue.

“Suicide accounts for more than 5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths… In fact in my estimations, because of under-reporting issues, suicide accounts for 10% of indigenous deaths.”

 

Aboriginal Suicide Rates

According to hospital data, in the 2008-2009 financial year 62% of people who were hospitalised due to self-harm were female

 

Despite the fact that men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women, females account for more than 60% of hospitalisations from self-harm. And this is a phenomenon that is far from being exclusive to Australia.

According to UK based Psychology professor Daniel Freeman this discrepancy is largely due to the different means that the two genders use when attempting suicide.

 

Aus Inst of Health and Welfare

All states and territories except South Australia and Victoria reported a stable or increasing suicide rate from 2014 to 2015

 

With the exception of South Australia and Victoria, all states and territories saw their suicide rate rise in 2015.

Chief executive of Suicide Prevention Australia, Sue Murray, recently told the ABC’s Mazoe Ford that there’s been a 26% increase in the suicide rate among women, a trend that has greatly contributed to the nation’s rising suicide rates.

“We have seen a 26 per cent increase in the suicide rates among women and the numbers of suicides among women (rise) over the last five year period.”

 

Suicide National Stats

Over the past 5 years the suicide rate in Adelaide has increased, while the rate has decreased across the rest of South Australia

 

One of the primary reasons that South Australia’s suicide rate has dropped in recent times is because less people in the state’s rural areas are taking their own lives.

So, despite the rate rising in Adelaide, the massive drop in rural areas has still lead to an overall decrease.

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To connect to a community event to mark World Suicide Prevention Day check out the official website: http://wspd.org.au/events/

If you’ve lost someone to suicide and are looking for support services please get in touch with our Living Beyond Suicide team on 1300 761 193.

For support regarding suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

 

Photography by:  Jessica Owen

 

New home opens for children and young people with disabilities

AnglicareSA and the State Government today opened a new, purpose built home for children and young people living with a disability. Montrose House, which has...

AnglicareSA and the State Government today opened a new, purpose built home for children and young people living with a disability.

Montrose House, which has been built by the State Government and is leased to AnglicareSA, replaces the former Montrose Cottage at Netherby. It offers a diverse range of community and centre-based skills development and social programs, as well as overnight accommodation to give families a break from their caring role.

AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman said the new building will provide children and young people with disabilities and their families with a modern, welcoming home that’s been specifically designed to meet their needs.

“This new home has accessible bedroom and bathrooms, a brand new kitchen for meal preparation, wide hallways for wheelchair and stroller access, large play spaces, sensory room and a vegetable garden. It’s designed to feel like a home away from home,” Peter said.

“It provides an opportunity for families and carers and also assists the children and young people to develop life skills, make new friends and transition to independent living, all within a supportive, family friendly environment.

“Over the past few months families have been transitioning from our former site and the feedback we’ve received since the move has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Montrose House currently has 44 customers and the move to the new building allows AnglicareSA to expand its programs and services to include school holiday and after school programs, and extend its overnight respite services to five days per week. This reflects the increasing service demand generated by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Minister for Disabilities Leesa Vlahos said the new facility was great news for local children and young people with an intellectual disability, as well as their families and carers.

“Having a purpose-built space will provide an ideal environment for young people as it has been designed with their needs and safety specifically in mind,” Minister Vlahos said.

“Respite facilities are important because they give families a break from their caring role, which helps to ensure the continued wellbeing of family members and the people they care for.”

 

Northern services update – Thursday

We are pleased to advise that all services from our Elizabeth Mission and Salisbury site will resume today. Thank you for your patience and understanding yesterday.

We are pleased to advise that all services from our Elizabeth Mission and Salisbury site will resume today. Thank you for your patience and understanding yesterday.

Be financially savvy during Boxing Day sales

AnglicareSA is encouraging the community to be financially savvy during the Boxing Day sales because impulse shopping can put individuals and families at risk of...

AnglicareSA is encouraging the community to be financially savvy during the Boxing Day sales because impulse shopping can put individuals and families at risk of starting the New Year with significant debt.

General Manager Community Services, Nancy Penna, said while the lure of some great discounts can be hard to avoid, it’s important to think about personal debt levels and the unavoidable expenses which will have to be paid in the first few months of 2017.

“This time of year is one of the busiest for our financial counselling services as many individuals and families come to the realisation that they need to pay off their credit cards or loans,” Nancy said.

“During January and February in 2016 AnglicareSA met with almost 300 individuals and families needing the assistance of our financial services program and we’re expecting this number will be even higher this year.

“Demand for this type of service increases anywhere from 20-30% during this time of year and our services and counsellors are operating at capacity.

“Over the past six months alone, we’ve provided financial advice and support to almost 1200 individuals and families.”

Nancy said all too often people will come to organisations like AnglicareSA seeking assistance when they are already deep in debt and under financial stress, and her advice to people is to get help early.

“Bills won’t stop arriving and as well as paying off Christmas debt, families and individuals will also need to start thinking about paying school fees and buying school uniforms in the coming months.”

“Debt can cause a huge amount of stress so it’s important that when shopping you ask yourself ‘can I afford this and do I need it’, before making the purchase.

“We cannot say this enough times – our advice to people who are concerned about their finances is to seek help as early as possible.”

Some important financial tips leading into the New Year include:

  • Start thinking about what bills will be arriving in early 2017
  • If you’re going to Boxing Day sales write a list, set a budget and stick to it
  • If you are in financial trouble, seek assistance as early as possible
  • Contact your creditors – let them know what is happening and don’t just ignore the bills piling up
  • Avoid using payday loans at all cost – a financial counsellor can help you find an alternative.

If anyone in the community would like to make an appointment to talk to someone about their finances they can call AnglicareSA on 1800 759 707 or visit www.anglicaresa.com.au