There is still a huge amount of work to be done in preventing death by suicide, despite annual figures showing a reduction in the number of lives lost.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Causes of Death 2021 report, released on Wednesday, shows that 47 young people aged between 15 and 24 died from intentional self-harm in Western Australia last year.
This is a decrease from 2020, when 58 young people died by suicide, and similar to 2019’s figures, when 49 young people died.
In Western Australia last year, 389 people died from intentional self-harm; a small increase from last year’s figure of 381 people. Young people make up 12.1% of this total.
Nationally, 3,144 people died by suicide, compared to 3,139 the previous year. Suicide remains the 15th leading cause of death, with three-quarters of people who died by suicide being male.
Youth Focus Chief Executive Officer Arthur Papakotsias say that there is still much work to be done, despite the reduction in figures.
“This ABS data shows that suicide remains the leading cause of death amongst young people aged between 15 and 24,” Mr Papakotsias said.
“The impact of these deaths is far-reaching and devastating. Even one young life lost to suicide is one too many. We must keep working to prevent these deaths.
“Swift, effective and accessible mental health services, such as those provided by Youth Focus, individualise support with young people to make sure they get the care they need.”
Youth Focus is the only specialist non-government youth mental health service in WA and works to prevent suicide and improve the mental health of young people aged 12 to 25 through counselling and community education services, provided at no cost to the young person and their family.
In 2021/22, Youth Focus supported more than 3,500 young people through 32,953 occasions of service from nine offices across Western Australia including four headspace centres, and several outreach locations.
If you or someone you know needs urgent support, please contact the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Lisa Shearon – 0432 821 877