We can never underestimate the impact that every life lost to suicide has on family, friends, workplaces and the broader community.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows that around 9 lives are lost per day to suicide. Over 10 million Australian adults are estimated to know someone who has died by suicide, and 1 in 2 young people are impacted by suicide by the time they turn 25.

In 2020, 454 young people aged 15-24 died by suicide, representing 21.2 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people. Over one-third of deaths in 15–24-year-olds are due to suicide. Suicide was the most common cause of death for adults aged 15-44, with 1,612 deaths by suicide in this group. Consistent with previous years, males are around three times more likely to die by suicide than females. Males accounted for 75.9% of deaths by suicide (2,384 deaths).

The causes of suicide are complex and vary case by case. Some factors that may contribute to suicide include mental illness, stressful life events, trauma, physical illness, drug or alcohol abuse and poor living circumstances.

So, how can we prevent it from happening?

Ultimately, only research into mental illness will provide us the answers we so desperately need.

Breakthrough’s Nine Lives Project is an initiative that aims to raise awareness for suicide prevention.

The initial launch of the Nine Lives project was held on Saturday 4th June in conjunction with the Adelaide Crows at the home match against West Coast Eagles. We will be holding another round with SANFL Grand Final on the 18th of September, which you can support by purchasing a virtual seat for a mate who is no longer with us and leave a message to share with others. To find out more please visit ninelivesproject.org.au

The project was promoted through the Adelaide Football Club and SANFL communication channels and has contributed to highlight the need for mental health research as a powerful tool to find out why suicide happens and how we can prevent it from happening in the first place.

To honour a loved one who lost their life to suicide, get in touch with our team at Breakthrough. We would love to keep you updated on our latest research into depression, eating disorders, youth mental health and indigenous mental health, and how this is contributing to create a life free from mental illness.

Positive wellbeing and resilience are linked to the prevention of suicide, protect against the development of mental illness and recovery from mental health issues. To find out more please visit ninelivesproject.org.au