The coronavirus pandemic has led to no increase in the number of Victorian’s dying by suicide, The Age reports. According to State Coroner Job Cain, looking at the data from this year between January 1 and August 26, there were two fewer suicides in Victoria compared to last year.
This year 466, Victorians took their own lives, compared to 468 Victorians last year. Of those 466 Victorians who died this year, 350 were men, with most between the ages of 22-55.
The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre in May predicted there could be a 25% surcharge in the number of suicides during a pandemic. However, the results from this years data show that it’s not the case.
Other information circulating has also claimed that suicide rates were up 200% because of the current COVID-19 health crisis.
“There is clearly growing awareness and community concern regarding mental health and suicide – and everyone should have access to the facts,” Judge Cain said.
“While it is encouraging to see there has not been an increase in suicides to date, our focus is to prevent all suicide deaths and see the figures go down.”
As Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews pointed out at a recent press conference, the number of suicides is only one way to measure the mental health impact of the current pandemic.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that there’s significant pain and grief and loss and significant challenges that many, many Victorians are facing,” Andrews said.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you are in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.
You can also reach the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 or chat online.