Latest stats confirm increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicides

The ABS last week released its latest figures on Intentional self-harm (suicide) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

  • The rate per 100,00 persons of suicide deaths has increased from 21.3 in 2010-2014 to 24.6 in 2015-2019
  • Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • The median age at death due to suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is 29.8

Gayaa Dhuwi Proud Spirit Australia (GDPSA) is the new National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and suicide prevention body.

GDPSA CEO, Tom Brideson says, “These statistics are particularly alarming despite concerns being expressed for many years now about the loss of our brothers and sisters.

“Yet the numbers continue to increase for both males and females.”

GDPSA is leading the discussions on the renewal of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy (NATSISPS) 2013.

“We are currently renewing this strategy and we anticipate there to be a strong commitment from all governments nationally and at the state and territory and local level in line with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap July 2020,” Mr Brideson said.

Professor Pat Dudgeon, GDPSA Director and National Director of the Centre of Best Practice in Indigenous Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) says it’s critical now more than ever to include community voices at all levels when developing responses.

“Our communities deserve better than to witness the continual rise of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths by suicide we deserve to live in a nation that has committed all governments towards zero suicides.” Prof Dudgeon said.

GDPSA launched the renewal process on 10th September 2020. We are providing the opportunity to participate in the Renewal of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Strategy through the website and to make submissions against the Discussion Paper that has been developed. A series of focussed roundtables are underway designed to respond to the main items listed in the discussion paper. A draft strategy will be developed by mid- November for further comment.

To find out more or to make a submission please visit: : https://www.gayaadhuwi.org.au/sp-strategy-renewal/

Media enquiries: Tamara Giles M: 0438 421 005 E: tamara.giles@gayaadhuwi.org.au

Gayaa Dhuwi (Proud Spirit) Australia