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AIMHS: Suicide Fact Sheet

This fact sheet lists the factors associated with male suicide in Australia. It also discusses the rates of suicide in Australia and the rest of the world, as well as the importance of early intervention and prevention. Health/Mental Health Services need to have a 'men-friendly' approach when working with men.

AIMHS Suicide Fact Sheet



If we are to understand suicide in men
we must acknowledge the psycho-biological and cultural realities and demands on men’s lives
  • Nearly 80 per cent of all suicides in Australia are men (1,816 of 2,361 in 2010).
  • Suicide is the cause of death with the highest gender disparity (333 male deaths for every 100 female deaths according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012).
  • Suicide is the number one killer of men under 44 years, with the highest death rate in 2010 occurring in the 35 to 49 years age group.
  • The next most at risk age group is 75 to 84 year old men.
  • Though male suicide in the 15 to 24 years age group occurs at a lower rate (13.4 per 100,000) it accounts for nearly one quarter of all male deaths in this age group.
  • Two thirds of men will die on their first attempt of suicide (Fielke, 2008).
  • Suicide ranks second to coronary heart disease as the cause of potential years of life lost by Australian males (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2010).

Some of the factors associated with male suicide are:

  • unemployment
  • alcohol consumption
  • relationship breakdown; and
  • rural location

Health/Mental Health Services should ensure they have an appropriate ‘men-friendly’ approach to working with men who may be in distress, because inappropriate interventions from services may lead to further compounding difficulties for men already in distress. Community based promotion, prevention and early intervention to ensure appropriate support for men, is essential.

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