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This resource contains information about suicide which may be upsetting to some people.
In 2013, 2,522 people died by suicide in Australia. Twenty-two of these were children aged 5- 14 years, 148 were adolescents aged 15-19 years, and a further 200 were young people aged 20-24 years. Although the suicide rate for children and adolescents is lower than that for some older age groups, suicide is the leading cause of death in children and young people.
Suicide has immense effects on the families, friends, and communities of people who die by suicide, causing long lasting grief and guilt. Arguably, these effects are even greater when the person who died by suicide is young. It is estimated that suicide costs the Australian economy more than $17 billion per year. Researchers and policy makers recognise that suicide is preventable, yet suicide rates have changed little in the past 10 years.
This discussion paper aims to focus a spotlight on the unique experience of young people. It does this by providing a critical analysis of existing policy and evidence based responses relevant to young people.