Community aims to 'break away from national statistics'
AUSTRALIA has seen an alarming increase in the rate of suicide from 2016 to 2017, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The new statistics show there has been a 9.1-per cent increase of suicides per day from 2016 to 2017.
Causes of Death Australia, 2017 reports on the causes of 160,909 deaths registered in 2017. Preliminary data contained in the report found 3128 people died by suicide in 2017, 2348 males and 708 females. In 2016, there were a total of 2866 deaths by suicide.
CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia Nieves Murray said the people who die from suicide are more than just a number.
"Unfortunately, what these numbers show is that suicide is a growing public health concern for all Australians," she said.
"We must use this data to strengthen our resolve. To each take personal responsibility for preventing suicide. By speaking up when we suspect someone is struggling. By supporting people with lived experience of suicide and those working at the front line of suicide prevention and crisis support."
Headspace Grafton centre manager Jason Grimes said while there has been an increase of suicides in the 12-month period, there were no statistics released for the Clarence Valley.
"It's important to shed light on what has occurred over the past year in the Clarence Valley in the way of support for young people with mental health issues," he said.
"In December 2017, the Clarence Valley saw the official opening of Headspace Grafton.
"A service introduced to the Valley on the backs of everyday community members who saw the firsthand effects of suicide within their community and took action, to no longer be part of national statistics."
Mr Grimes said since Headspace opened, they have reached many areas of the community to get the message of mental health and wellbeing for all out to the greater community.
"It is important over the coming year and well into the future we as a community continue to spread this message of available support and assistance to one another, preventing what this community had to endure to get to where we are today," he said.
"The narrative of the Clarence Valley has changed.
"We are no longer a community in distress; we are a community in command of our future.
"We are a community that has transitioned from being stigmatised to focussing on the continued improvement and wellbeing of its members.
"We are working towards wellness."
If this story has raised any issues, or you or someone you love is in crisis or needs support right now, help is available. Please call:
Suicide Call Back Service 1300659467
Kids Helpline: 1800551800