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New ABS figures: youth suicide

New figures released this week have revealed youth suicide has reached a ten year high, demonstrating the need for sustained efforts to support young people with mental health issues.

“Alarmingly these statistics show that approximately eight children and young people suicide every week in Australia, an increase of 32% since 2006,” headspace School Support National Manager Kristen Douglas said.

“The impact on families, communities, schools and school systems has reached a critical point.

“On average, headspace School Support responds to five suicide notifications every week from Australian schools. Each of these deaths has a potential ripple effect to a further 3-5 schools per death, and sometimes more.

“We need to continue to prioritise high risk groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (particularly males), young people, young males, and early intervention, in our efforts to prevent this rising tide of preventable deaths.

“Help-seeking is a proven pathway to suicide prevention – by ensuring help is accessed in the early stages, we know that young people can get things back on track.

Below is a summary of youth specific figures released yesterday (28 September, 2016) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) regarding deaths by intentional self-harm (suicide) in 2015.

Child and Youth suicide in Australia 2006-2015

Death by Intentional Self Harm (Suicide)

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

0-14

8

12

11

3

13

16

16

22

21

14

15-19

110

116

98

105

117

117

131

152

130

145

20-24

188

184

190

171

190

218

195

205

232

246

Total deaths per year

306

312

299

279

320

351

342

379

383

405

 

In 2015, suicide was the leading cause of death of children between 5 and 17 years of age. The age-specific rate of suicide in this age group was 2.3 per 100,000 in 2015.  In 2015, suicide accounted for one-third of deaths (33.9%) among people 15-24 years of age, and over a quarter of deaths (27.7%) among those 25-34 years of age. 

For more information on the statistics, please visit:

ABS Cause of Death Data 2015 Suicide

ABS Cause of Death Data Breakdown