By Mazoe Ford.
The number of Australians who took their own lives surpassed 3,000 last year for the first time, new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have revealed.
In 2015, there were 3,027 people who died by suicide — 2,292 were men and 735 were women.
The figures show that deaths from self-harm are three times more common for males than females, however the number of women who end their lives is going up.
Chief executive of Suicide Prevention Australia, Sue Murray, told ABC News this trend was concerning.
“We have seen a 26 per cent increase in the suicide rates among women and the numbers of suicides among women (rise) over the last five year period,” Ms Murray said.
“We don’t know why this is occurring, so we really need to see the government come on board with investment in research, so we can really understand what it is that is bringing about this increase and the way in which [women] are choosing to take their own lives.”
The ABS statistics also reveal that the number of teenage girls who die by suicide has almost doubled in a year.
In 2015, 56 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 ended their lives, up from 38 in 2014.
“The numbers are not large but certainly the fact that it is a 45 per cent increase in a one-year period certainly needs good investigation,” Ms Murray said.
“I think we need to be looking very carefully at the type of suicide prevention programs we’re delivering.”
Survivor says don’t give up on treatment
Hayley Purdon, 28, attempted suicide when she was 20 years old.
She told ABC News she had low self esteem, depression, anxiety and an eating disorder in her teens but she was too afraid to talk about it with her friends, family or doctor because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.
“It was just so hard to discuss things like that, there is such shame that comes with those sorts of feelings that you don’t want to be honest with people,” Miss Purdon said.