About suicide prevention

Suicide is a tragedy. It deeply affects friends, families and communities. But with the right support, it is preventable. Find out what we’re doing to prevent suicide and support Australians affected by suicide.

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What suicide is

Suicide is the act of intentionally ending your own life. It is a tragedy, which has devastating impacts on families, friends and communities. Suicide is often the result of mental ill-health, such as depression. But the reasons people think about suicide are complex and varied, and include:

  • addiction
  • job loss
  • financial struggle
  • physical health conditions
  • relationship breakdowns
  • bullying.

We can prevent suicides. With the right skills, knowledge and support, we can keep people safe.

Read statistics about suicide in Australia.

Why preventing suicide matters

The loss of any life is tragic, and has a deep impact on family and friends. But a loss through suicide can be especially complex and traumatic, and the devastating impact on those left behind is immeasurable.

By recognising the warning signs, and knowing how to talk about it and what to do to help, we can save a life.

Lifestyle and suicide prevention

Many of the things we do in our day-to-day life can affect our mental health. Though there are many reasons people face mental ill-health, leading a healthy lifestyle can help, including:

Warning signs of suicide

Suicidal thoughts can happen to anyone at any point in their life.

People who are thinking about suicide almost always show warning signs. Some of these include:

  • abusing alcohol or drugs
  • withdrawing from family and friends
  • talking about wanting to die, feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  • appearing anxious or agitated
  • acting recklessly
  • losing interest in their self-care and appearance.

There are many more warning signs. The best way to prevent suicide is to recognise these signs, take them seriously and take action.

How to get help for yourself

You might be feeling hopeless and isolated, and that there is no way out.

If you’re thinking about suicide, you’re not alone – many people feel this way. It’s important to let someone know how you are feeling and reach out for help. It can be someone close to you, or a specialised support service.

Read about:

How to get help for someone else

The best way to prevent suicide is to recognise the warning signs, take them seriously and take immediate action to help.

If you think a person is at immediate risk, call their doctor, a mental health crisis service, or 000 – tell them the person’s life is at risk. You can also take them to a hospital emergency department.

Stay with them. Do not leave them alone, unless you are worried about your own safety.

Remove any possible means of suicide from their immediate environment, like medicines, knives or other sharp objects, and household chemicals, like bleach.

Find out more about what you can do if you are worried about someone.

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