Suicide

16 October 2018

Senator GRIFF (South Australia) (16:07): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) Australia's suicide rate is a source of anguish and outrage with 3 128 Australians taking their own life in 2017 – this represents 262 more deaths than the previous year, or 9 per cent higher than 2016,

   (ii) the Australian Bureau of Statistics has released alarming national data that shows intentional self-harm is now ranked the 13th leading cause of death, moving up from 15th position in 2016,

   (iii) in 2017, suicide was the leading cause of death among people aged between 15-44 years, and the second leading cause of death among those 45-54 years of age,

   (iv) suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for males – the suicide rate among males is more than three times greater than that for females,

   (v) in 2017, there were 165 suicides of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and 162 deaths the year before,

   (vi) in 2017, suicide remained the leading cause of death of children between 5-17 years of age, with 98 deaths occurring in this age group – this is a 10 per cent increase in deaths from 2016, and

   (vii) in 2017, approximately 80 per cent of intentional self-harm deaths had co­-morbidities mentioned as contributing factors to death – mood disorders, including depression, were the most common mentioned condition with intentional self-harm, followed by drug and alcohol disorders;

(b) recognises that behind every suicide statistic is a person who is cared for and loved, with family and friends left devastated by their loss;

(c) supports specialist counselling service Lifeline's urging of the Federal Government to set a national suicide reduction target; and

(d) calls on the Federal Government to:

   (i) set a national target to achieve a 25 per cent suicide reduction over five years, and

   (ii) appoint a Minister for Mental Health.

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