break the silence - it's ok to talk about suicide

suicide statistics, myths, facts, warning signs

Need immediate assistance?

Call 000
Call local hospital Psychiatric Emergency Team

Crisis lines

Lifeline 13 11 14
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
Mens Line 1300 78 99 78
Veterans Line 1800 011 046
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

statistics - 6 per day

  • 2009 deaths reported as suicide - 2132 - 6 per day
  • 1633 males
  • 499 females
  • 2009 transport accident deaths - 1479
  • Suicide deaths are relatively small (out of total 140 760 registered deaths in 2009)
  • In 2009 the average age of males completing suicide was 43.4 years
  • The average age of females was 44.9 years
  • In 2009 suicide was the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24
  • (20.5% of all deaths in this age group)
  • 77.2% of these deaths were male

    (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics. Note that coronial inquests can take 2-3 years. At the time of writing 2009 data was the most recent available.)


If suicide is largely preventable - and more people die from suicide than are killed on the roads, why do we hear daily in the media how many died in a car crash - but no mention of those who completed suicide, or how we can help those thinking about suicide?

Not happy about this?

Break the silence

Start talking

It's ok to talk about suicide

myths and facts

Myth: Suicidal people want to die
Fact: Suicidal people just want to end the intense emotional and/physical pain that they are experiencing, or they cannot see a way out of their situation.

Myth: All suicidal people are crazy
Fact: Most individuals who complete suicide do not have an identified mental illness.

Myth: People who talk about suicide don't actually do it
Fact: Many who complete the act of suicide spend considerable time prior to the act, talking about it (we need to be alert to the warning signs).

Myth: Talking about suicide with a depressed or suicidal person may cause them to end their life.
Fact: Giving the suicidal person permission to discuss their feelings can bring immense relief and reduce isolation.

Myth: Only certain types of people commit suicide
Fact: Suicidal thoughts and actions can affect anyone from any location, religious or racial background, or age.

warning signs

70% of people who complete suicide give warning signs

It is important to seek help if you or someone you know:

  • feels trapped like there's no way out
  • feels worthless or hopeless and that life is not worth living
  • starts talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
  • withdraws from friends, family and community
  • gives away personal possessions
  • increased use of drugs or alcohol
  • sleep disturbances
  • has sudden mood swings or frequent crying
  • loses interest in hobbies, sports, work or school
  • has noticable behaviour changes such as increased risk taking


what to do, links and further reading

Youth Beyond Blue - Fact Sheets - Fact sheet 14 - Suicide - Knowing when to get help

Sane Australia - Fact Sheet - How to help when someone is suicidal - Suicide - Fact sheets and stories, videos

Life Line Toolkits - Helping someone at risk of suicide

Life Line - Cool one page summary and prevention video - Kids helpline - 5 to 25 years

Sane Australia - mobile

Living Works - Cool training for suicide safer communities

More detailed reading v1 mixtape here!!