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Youth suicide rates at 10-year high

AAP logoAAP 29/11/2016

Suicide rates among young Australians are at their highest level in 10 years, despite two decades of government funding and prevention strategies, a new report has found.

Existing systems are not working and a renewed national strategy with a specific youth suicide prevention plan is needed, according to youth mental health service Orygen.

Suicide rates among young women have doubled, youth suicides are around twice as likely to occur as part of a cluster than among adults, and there is an increasing trend of self-harm and suicide attempts in young people, the report found.

Young people need to be front and centre of a national response, Orygen spokeswoman Jo Robinson said.

"We simply cannot afford for this to continue," Dr Robinson said.

"We need a specific youth suicide prevention plan that sits under the new strategy and young people need to be part of its development and implementation."

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

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