More than half of Australian families are reporting higher-than-normal distress due to the rising cost of living, according to new data from Suicide Prevention Australia. Source: The Guardian.
The organisation’s community tracker has found cost of living and personal debt to be the highest cause of distress among Australians for the fifth quarter in a row, with 46 per cent nationally reporting elevated distress this September quarter compared with 40 per cent in June.
For families with children at home under 18 years of age, the numbers were even higher (56 per cent), up 20 per cent since June. It represents the first time since the organisation started surveying Australians four years ago that more than half of families reported cost-of-living distress beyond normal levels.
The tracker also found families were twice as likely to call a frontline suicide prevention service for help (14 per cent ) than others nationally (7 per cent).
Nieves Murray, the chief executive of Suicide Prevention Australia, said the findings were a “warning sign” of the risk of distress being felt in Australian households converting into suicide rates.
Suicide Prevention Australia’s community tracker is a quarterly survey in partnership with YouGov of more than 1000 representative adults, with the September quarter results based on answers given online between 10 and 13 August.
Edwina MacDonald, the deputy chief executive of the Australian Council of Social Service, said Suicide Prevention Australia’s research was consistent with what ACOSS had heard in its latest cost-of-living survey. It heard the inability to afford life’s essentials, such as food and rent, was affecting physical and mental health.
More than half of Australian families report higher than normal distress due to cost of living (By Natasha May, The Guardian)
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