Australia stops for suicide prevention

IT'S World Suicide Prevention Day tomorrow, a day which aims to raise awareness about a cause of death that claims more lives than skin cancer and car accidents.

Lifeline Northern Rivers Counselling Centre Manager Niall Mulligan said six people on average take their own lives each day.

"That means that each year more people are dying by suicide in Australia than on our roads or from skin cancer," he said.

He said these subjects rated highly on the public agenda but suicide remained a taboo.

"That's why lifeline is looking to break down the stigma associated with suicide,"

Around 2200 people take their own lives each year but figures are thought to be 20-30% under reported due to different reporting protocols across states and territories.

Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 44 and men are four times more likely to commit suicide compared with men.

Mr Niall said everyone had a role in preventing suicide and changing the taboo.

"Australians from all cultures and backgrounds can help by letting their friends and family know that it is safe to talk about suicide,"

Lifeline will be holding two-day suicide prevention workshops in November 2011 and April 2012 for anyone needing support.

Alternatively you can ring the lifeline support line on 13 11 14.