Anxiety and depression are high risk factors for suicide.

While women are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, men are less likely to talk about it. This increases the risk of their depression or anxiety going unrecognised and untreated.

  • Beyondblue says one in 16 young Australians are experiencing depression and about one in six experience anxiety. (16-24 age group)
  • In Australia, there are approximately 2,500 suicides each year and 75 per cent are by men. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 54, significantly exceeding the national road toll.

And this is not even the whole story. Leading mental health researcher, Professor Ian Nickie, executive director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney, said statisticians have recently reported a fall in suicide rates but that is only due to a big peak in suicides in one year. Most researchers and treatment providers believe suicides are being under recorded, being recorded as accidents or unintentional deaths.

More recently, statistics are also showing that even children at primary school are feeling anxious and pressured, from school and elsewhere, with the introduction of NAPLAN testing in year three cited as one of the problems.

While many schools have good systems in place to support children with anxiety and depression, many more go unnoticed- just like Kai – and they keep their fears a secret.

The Man-Up program supported by the Kai Eardley Fund [Fremantle Foundation] can help children themselves identify if they have an illness requiring treatment and provides another opportunity to put them in touch with those resources.

The Statistics

  • Youth suicide affects families every day in Australia. It is the leading cause of death among young people, with around 350 young people aged 15-24 dying by suicide in 2013.
  • For every one suicide, there are approximately 100-200 suicide attempts.
  • A third deaths of young men are due to suicide
  • While suicide rates among young men are still higher than women, female suicide rates had doubled over the past 10 years.
  • 41,000 young people aged 12-17 have made a suicide attempt
  • Twice as many 15 to 19-year-old women died by suicide than in 2005
  • Suicide rates have increased for children under the age of 14
  • One-quarter of women aged 16-17 years old have self-harmed
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, LGBTIQ and seriously mentally ill youth are at high risk
  • In 2015, the top three issues of concern for young people (listed in order of highest concern) were: coping with stress, school or study problems and body image. These top three issues of concern have remained the same since 2013.

Sources: Beyondblue, Brain and Mind Institute, ABC News

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