Supporting Suicide Attempt Survivors

1 September 2009
Many different terminologies have been proposed to address these definitional concerns. However, many of those who have made a suicide attempt find these labels pejorative, too clinical and/or too far removed from their experiences. For these reasons, SPA has adopted the terminology ‘suicide attempt survivors’. It is difficult to identify the prevalence of suicide attempts in Australia. However, it is estimated that more than 170 people attempt suicide every day in Australia (since there are six to seven suicides each day in Australia, and, for each suicide death, there have been at least 30 attempts somewhere in the community). While the pain associated with each attempt may be private, suicide attempts are a major public concern. Many attempts are not presented for medical attention, and therefore go undetected. In an Australian study, forexample, it was shown that less than half of those who had attempted suicide sought formal help after their attempt, while only one third received treatment at a hospital. The position statement on Supporting Suicide Attempt Survivors was launched at the SPA Community Forum in Perth on World Suicide Prevention Day, 10th September, 2009. Suicide Prevention Australia was pleased to have Ms Allison Kokany, Chairperson, NSW Consumer Advisory Group, Mental Health Inc, and Dr Michael Dudley, Chairperson, Suicide Prevention Australia and Member of the Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council launch the statement.