Attempted suicide because they believed they were a burden

Survival stories from those who attempt suicide should drive mental health interventions but have been missing from policy discussions, Australia’s national mental health commissioner has said. Prof Ian Hickie said this omission was partly because of society’s often callous view towards suicide.

A study of 31 people who had attempted suicide was released by the mental health charity Sane Australia and the University of New England on Thursday.

The interviews revealed people overwhelmingly attempted suicide because they believed they were a burden, and that their family and friends would be better off without them, a national suicide prevention conference in Perth was told.

Almost 90% of those studied reported having been diagnosed with at least one mental illness, and 11 people reported making multiple suicide attempts.