PEOPLE in Western NSW need to stop worrying about feeling uncomfortable and do their bit to help curb the high suicide rates in Australia.
Last year, 3128 people died by suicide – the equivalent of 8.6 deaths every single day – data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday revealed.
The rate was a 10-year high, with 262 more deaths than the year before.
Lifeline Central West chief executive officer Stephanie Robinson said that mental health should not be a taboo subject in todays society.
“We can help people to recognise the invitations [signs] so they dont miss, dismiss or avoid them,” she said.
Of the 3128 deaths by suicide last year – 2348 were male and 780 were female.
Australian Bureau of Statistics
“Instead of just dismissing when someone says yeah, Im alright start the conversation and we can change this.”
While there are a range of dedicated mental health services online and in person across the region, Ms Robinson regular people could also have a significant impact on outcomes of those at risk.
HELPING OTHERS: Lifeline Central West chief executive officer Stephanie Robinson said it's time the community played its part in helping to curb high suicide rate. Photo: MATTHEW WATSON 092618mwlifeline
“We need to get more people, everyday people, who are out there because its not always the GP or medical people who do the interventions,” she said.
“I can tell you that overwhelmingly people are relieved that someone has asked and often they can then feel like they can talk.”
Ms Robinson said it was incorrect to think that everyone who suicides had a mental illness.
“Theres a whole heap of people with mental health issues who will never suicide,” she said.
The ABS data showed that there were a range of factors and issues behind while people chose to take their life.
“Of the people who suicided 43 per cent (1345 people) had depression; 29.5 per cent (922 people) had alcohol and drug issues; 17.5 per cent (547 people) had anxiety; and 14.9 per cent (466 people) had alcohol in their bloodstream at the time,” Ms Robinson said.
- Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for help in a crisis.