Second Tasmanian Suicide Register report released

Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing

The Tasmanian Government has today released the second Report to the Tasmanian Government on Suicide in Tasmania.

This significant report enables us to build upon our understanding and will inform the next Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy, to be developed in 2022, to help more Tasmanians into the future.

The Report uses data from the Tasmanian Suicide Register and provides an in-depth analysis of the 505 deaths reported to, and investigated by, Tasmanian coroners from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2018.

They each had people who loved and cared about them – people who now miss them and grieve their loss.

Their deaths have had a devastating and widespread impact on their families, friends, children, workmates, and communities, and I offer my deepest sympathies.

It is important to recognise that the reasons people take their own life are complex and not always connected to mental illness.

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

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

I am deeply committed to working with all Tasmanians to ensure that everyone who experiences suicidal distress can access compassionate care when they need it.

Suicide prevention is a whole-of-government, whole-of-community issue, and it is up to us all to do what we can to support each other, to reach out to others in times of disruption and distress, and to help build hope for the future.

I thank Tasmanian Coroner Olivia McTaggart for her continued support of the Register and for providing access to the data.

The Report includes key findings such as:

  • The highest suicide rate was among 35 to 44-year-olds;
  • Nearly four times as many men than women died by suicide;
  • Nearly one-quarter of suicides occurred among people living in areas classified as the most disadvantaged, and 15 per cent occurred in those living in the least disadvantaged areas of Tasmania;
  • One third were employed and 16 per cent were unemployed at the time of death;
  • Two per cent of people who died by suicide reported a terminal illness at the time of death;
  • Two-thirds had at least one reported physical illness and nearly half experienced acute, chronic, or cancer-related pain prior to death;
  • Females had a higher prevalence of physical illness and pain than males;
  • The majority of those who died by suicide had experienced at least one interpersonal and/or family stressor, with males and females similarly affected;
  • Separation from a partner (actual or perceived) was the most common identified interpersonal/contextual stressor followed by death of a family member and conflict with partner/family; and
  • One-fifth of persons who died by suicide were either retired or unable to work at the time of death either due to a mental and/or physical illness.

The Report is available at Tasmanian Suicide Register Report | Mental Health

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