Middle-aged Australians drive rise in national #suicide rate

The suicide rate among those aged 55 to 64 years surged by 54 per cent in the 10 years to 2014, to 15.1 per 100,000.

The rate of suicide in women aged 15-24 jumped by 50 per cent over the same period, compared to a 2 per cent increase for men. (However, men made up three-quarters of the 362 suicides in the age group in 2014.)

Director and chief scientist at the Black Dog Institute Helen Christensen said increased risky behaviour among young women could have contributed to the rise in suicide rate, although more research was needed to know.

“Young girls are becoming more assertive and less risk-averse. They’re drinking earlier, smoking earlier … all those associated behaviours might lead to more impulsivity, which might lead to more risk-taking, more injury, more suicide risk,” Professor Christensen said.

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