A significant new report has shed light on the factors contributing to 359 deaths by suicide in the state and is set to inform future policy responses.
Mental Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff described the Report to the Tasmanian Government on Suicide in Tasmania as "very sobering".
"It represents the tragedy of 359 Tasmanians who died by suicide and I acknowledge each of them here today - and we remember them all today," Mr Rockliff said yesterday upon detailing the report's findings.
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"They each had people who loved and cared about them. People who now miss them. People who are grieving.
"This report may raise uncomfortable feelings. But it is so important to ensure we can better understand how we can help people in distress."
The Tasmanian Suicide Register was established in December 2017 and is a collaboration between the Health Department and the Coronial Division of the Magistrates Court.
The report into the register is based on data gleaned from coronial cases closed between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016.
It found that nearly four times as many Tasmanian men died by suicide compared to women and that the highest rate of suicide was among people aged 45-54 and the lowest rates were among people aged 0-24 and 25-34.
Most people who died by suicide had experienced at least one interpersonal or family stressor, the report said. Half had had contact with police, courts or corrections in their lifetime and two thirds had experienced acute, chronic or cancer-related pain.
Tasmania's chief psychiatrist Aaron Groves said the report was a "first and critical step" in gaining a deeper understanding of the factors involved in the state's deaths by suicide.
"Suicidal distress in our community is sadly a very common thing," Dr Groves said. "One in seven Tasmanians during their lifetime will experience suicidal distress."
"This report is very helpful to us as policymakers and planners and people who deliver services to better understand how we target that and how we make sure our services remain most relevant for the people who have the greatest amount of distress."
- If you or someone you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au.
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