West Australians less likely to access crisis support, despite high suicide rates, Lifeline says

lifeline suicide preventionWest Australians are almost half as likely to access Lifeline's crisis support services as other Australians, despite having one of the highest suicide rates in the country as reported by Nicolas Perpitch.

According to call data released by Lifeline, more than 55,266 local calls were made to its crisis line in the past financial year.

Chief executive Lorna MacGregor said that was the equivalent of 2 per cent of West Australians seeking help, compared to a national average of 3.5 per cent.

"And we really would encourage all West Australians who are facing crisis or contemplating suicide to call the 13 11 14 number and reach out for help."

Families and relationships, mental health, personal crisis and health and disability were the top reasons people called the crisis line.

Lifeline WA also reported talking to almost 15,000 people through its nightly online Crisis Support Chat service, which it said was a 15 per cent increase since last year.

"This indicates the deep isolation, anxiety and sadness experienced by many in our community," Ms MacGregor said.

The organisation will try to find new ways to reach out to people in crisis and to encourage more people to call its helpline, including in rural areas.

"People living in rural areas are more likely to suicide than people living in metropolitan areas, so we definitely need to look how we can reach into rural areas and help provide support into the regions," Ms MacGregor said.

WA has the second highest suicide rate in the country after the Northern Territory, at 14.4 people per 100,000. To read more click here.

The 17th International Mental Health Conference will be held at the brand new Sea World Resort Conference Centre on the Gold Coast, QLD from the 11 -12 August 2016.

You are invited to join us as we address the conference theme “Guiding the Change” across the broad spectrum of mental disorders. To register for the conference CLICK HERE.

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