Chief Coroner Judge Neil MacLean today released the provisional annual suicide figures for the year ending 30 June 2014.
The total for the year was 529, which is the lowest number by two since the annual coronial figures were first produced for the 2007/08 year. There were 12 fewer suicides compared to last year, and 29 fewer than the 2010/11 year, which was the highest annual number recorded in the last seven years.
Judge MacLean said, “while it is encouraging to see a slight drop in numbers, the overall rate is still stubbornly high and disappointingly consistent.”
Of the 12 fewer suicides 9 were female 3 were male raising the gender percentage from approximately 72% to 73% male.
What is encouraging is the big drop in the death rate of youth males aged 15 – 19 years down from 43 – 25 to a similar level as females at 21, however the worst cohort for males 20 – 24 remains high at 50 dropping 3 but shows a reduction of 14 down to 8 for females – if we look at 15 – 24 group which is classed as youth suicide, why are we not getting through to the older males here?
Something to think about.
So, that begs the question where is the bad news; the three biggest cohorts increasing are:
Males 30 – 34 up 11 to 33
Males 60 – 64 up 13 to 28
Males 80 – 84 up 11 to 13
The increase in the 60 – 65 age group doesn’t surprise me; it is an age group which I think will see further increases as many fathers attacked by the Family Court system will not be prepared for retirement and will be under-resourced to support their decreasing work capability.
Note: This post is based on the coroner’s provisional statistics from June 2013 to June 2014 and will vary from confirmed government statics which are also recorded by calendar year.