Current data are encouraging, but no reason for complacency
Since 1997, when the number of Australians committing suicide peaked at 2720, there has been a sustained reduction in the number of suicides each year. The most recently available figure — 2098 suicides in 20041 — represents an age-standardised suicide rate of 10.4 per 100 000 population, 29% lower than the rate of 14.7 per 100 000 in 1997. The figures are even more striking for people aged 15–24 years, for whom there was a reduction in suicide rates of about 50% — from 19.3 to 9.6 per 100 000 between 1997 and 2004.1 These figures have not achieved the media publicity that they warrant.
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