***Suicide Prevention Australia responds to the ABS report on suicide data

25 July 2012

ABS Report highlights need for a closer look at our suicide data.

For immediate release: 25/7/2012

Suicide Prevention Australia today responded to the most recent ABS report on suicide deaths in Australia with the observation that this report highlights questions in relation to suicide reporting.

The additional data released in relation to demographic factors such as geographic breakdown and country of birth are a positive step towards providing further indicators to assist in ensuring suicide prevention strategies can be well targeted. There is considerable work still to be done, however, in ensuring we have quality data in Australia, which is why Suicide Prevention Australia continues its leadership role with key stakeholders such as the ABS on the National Committee for the Standardised Reporting of Suicide (NCSRS). The work of the NCSRS aims to improve the availability of detailed analysis and timely information so that we can respond more proactively when it comes to a challenge that touches nearly every Australian household.

The ABS commentary on the recently released report states that a 17% reduction in the suicide rate in Australia has occurred between 2001 and 2010. While of course we welcome any reduction in the suicide rate in Australia we still caution that we need to look further at the unfolding trends, as there has been wide recognition that only the data on suicide deaths in Australia after 2007 are sufficiently reliable to support future trend analysis. This new ABS data release gives us the opportunity to further improve the analysis techniques involved and allow us to focus our efforts and energies in those areas that need our urgent and longer term attention.

The full ABS report can be viewed here.

The full press release can be viewed here.