It is with a heavy heart that we write this article: currently, Australian suicide statistics are at the highest they have been in 13 years.
Over the same timeline, the rate of suicide in women aged 15-24 jumped by an enormous 50%. While there was only a 2% increase for men, men make up three quarters of the 362 suicides in the age group in 2014. Which is devastating beyond comprehension.
Director and chief scientist of Black Dog Institute, Helen Christensen, seems to believe it’s because young women are engaging in ‘risk-taking behaviour’:
“Young girls are becoming more assertive and less risk-averse. They’re drinking earlier, smoking earlier … all those associated behaviours might lead to more impulsivity, which might lead to more risk-taking, more injury, more suicide risk.Men worry about money, supporting their families, being the breadwinner. Women worry about interpersonal problems, for example, family conflicts.”
“[The numbers say] that people are getting to us too late.We made it OK to start talking about mental health, but we’re still not giving people enough skills to become capable of preventing suicide.”
And he’s right. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 to 44 – and the rates are seemingly increasing.