Victoria has recorded its highest number of annual suicides since the Coroner’s Court started collecting suicide data in 2000, with mental health workers saying the trend is occurring nationally. Source: The Guardian.
In 2022, there were 756 suicides in Victoria, a 9 per cent increase compared with 2021, according to data published by the Coroner’s Court on Monday, which reveals much of the increase occurred in the latter part of the year.
From January to July, the monthly number of suicides in Victoria was consistent with previous years, at approximately 58 suicides a month. From August to December, the monthly number of suicides increased to an average of 65 a month.
In a statement, the court said it “considers that the higher numbers during August to December 2022 might signal an emerging trend”.
The most substantial increase in suicides was seen in the 65 years and older cohort, with a 32 per cent rise from 2021 to 2022. There was a 21 per cent increase among people aged 45 to 54.
There was an 8 per cent increase among males since 2021, and a 12 per cent increase among females. In January, two Australian studies published in the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry revealed alarming levels of mental illness among teenage girls in particular, who are least likely to be admitted to hospital when seeking treatment.
State Coroner John Cain said it was “troubling to see an increase in suicides emerge in the last few months of 2022”.
The head of suicide prevention research at the University of New South Wales-affiliated Black Dog Institute, Fiona Shand, said the data “is consistent with what we’re seeing in other jurisdictions”.
“While the Victorian coroner has indicated we can’t be sure of what is driving the trend just yet … we really need to be looking at some key areas in terms of suicide prevention” including access to affordable and high-quality mental health care, Associate Professor Shand said.
Victoria records highest number of annual suicides since 2000 amid fears of national trend (By Melissa Davey,The Guardian)
Alarm over ‘troubling’ spike in Victorian suicides (Herald Sun)
National FREE 24/7 Crisis Services: • Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 www.kidshelpline.com.au• MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78 www.mensline.org.au • Beyond Blue Support Service 1300 22 4636