Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania



9 October 2020

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Tasmanian Suicide Register report released

A significant report into suicide in Tasmania will build on our understanding and inform the development of preventive strategies to help more Tasmanians into the future.

The Report to the Tasmanian Government on Suicide in Tasmania 2020, includes data from the Tasmanian Suicide Register and provides an in depth analysis of the 359 deaths by suicide reported to and investigated by Tasmanian coroners from 2012 to 2016.

Every death by suicide is a devastating loss for those left behind including children and parents, friends, work colleagues and communities right across our State.

The Register, which has been in operation since 2017, provides the most comprehensive data that has ever been available on the impact of suicide on the lives of Tasmanians and the circumstances preceding their deaths.

The Tasmanian Government is working hard with our health service, community partners, and all levels of government to ensure Tasmanians know where to go to receive the support they need in line with Tasmania’s Suicide Prevention Strategy.

This report puts us in a much stronger position to target assistance for people at risk of suicide.

Key findings for 2012 to 2016:
*The highest suicide rate was among 45 to 54-year-olds;
*The lowest rates of suicides were among 0 to 24-year-olds and 25 to 34-year-olds;
*Two thirds of people who died by suicide had a reported physical illness and half experienced chronic or cancer-related pain;
*Nearly four times as many men as women died by suicide;
*More than half of those who died by suicide had at least one previous diagnosis of a mental illness, with the rate higher among females than males;
*Most had experienced at least one interpersonal or family stressor with separation from a partner most frequently identified, followed by the death of a family member and conflict with a partner; and
*Half of those who died by suicide had contact with police, courts or corrections during their lifetime.
Commissioned by Tasmania’s Chief Psychiatrist and Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Committee Chair Dr Aaron Groves and drafted by Coroner’s Division and Department of Health staff, the report is a joint initiative of the Department of Health and Department of Justice.

I would like to thank Coroner Olivia McTaggart for her continued support of the Tasmanian Suicide Register and for providing access to the data to enable us to gain these valuable insights.

All Tasmanians can play a role in suicide prevention by:
*Reducing stigma;
*Regularly checking in with the people around us and encouraging discussion;
*Giving people a sense of belonging or a feeling of connectedness;
*Listening without judgment, showing compassion, and instilling hope; and
*Developing their skills to support someone in crisis including to encourage the seeking of professional help.
Tasmanians should consider calling the Mental Health Services Helpline available 24/7 on 1800 332 388 if they or someone they know shows obvious changes in mood and/or behaviour, or expresses suicidal ideas or thoughts.

Assistance is also available 24/7 by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

Importantly, if anyone is in immediate danger, they should call triple zero.

The Tasmanian Government takes suicide prevention and awareness extremely seriously, and we are committed to building a better integrated mental health system, with more focus on hospital avoidance, community-based care and brand new facilities through our $104 million plan.

The report is available by request to the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate by email: director.mhadd@health.tas.gov.au

Check this self-help resource for media professionals: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/mindframemedia/assets/src/uploads/Media_professionals_self-care_tips.pdf

Mindframe Media Guidelines: https://mindframemedia.imgix.net/assets/src/uploads/MF-Media-Professionals-DP-LR.pdf



More Media Releases from Jeremy Rockliff

More Media Releases from the Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing