Many current suicide prevention interventions focus on raising awareness of suicide or on preventing it only at the point just prior to it occurring. But despite decades of government investment in suicide awareness programs, the rate of deaths by suicide in Australia is the second highest it’s been in ten years.
Clearly, we must expand our efforts.
Suicide occurs when a person can’t identify any other effective strategy to reduce their distress. It comes at a point when a person has reached the end of their tether. Australia’s National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan 2017–2022 largely focuses on this kind of endpoint when people are about to die or have died of suicide. The focus is also on people with serious psychiatric illnesses or those considered at “high risk” of suicide.