Indigenous Victorians are dying by suicide at a rate nearly three times higher than non-Indigenous people, new data shows.
About 108 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people took their own lives between 2018 and 2022 compared to 3429 non-Indigenous people, according to the Victorian coroners report released on Wednesday.
That represented a rate of about 27.4 suicides per 100,000 Indigenous people compared to 10.6 per 100,000 for non-Indigenous people.
The figures for 2022 were a reduction on the previous year – 18 Indigenous suicides compared to 34 in 2021 – but the state coroner said the numbers were still “worryingly high”.
“Many of these passings are preventable,” Judge John Cain said in a statement.
“We will continue releasing this data to support targeted approaches to suicide prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria.”
Between 2018 and 2022, suicides were more prevalent in younger age groups for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with 58.3 per cent being people aged under 35 years.
The average age of male Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who died by suicide was 36.1 years, compared to 46 years in non-Indigenous males.
For Indigenous women, the average age was 29.8 years compared to 46.1 years in non-Indigenous females.
“The findings of this report highlight that more needs to be done to strengthen approaches to Aboriginal health and wellbeing,” Coroners Aboriginal Engagement Unit acting manager Jessica Gobbo said in a statement.
“While the content of this report is highly distressing, this information gives agency to our community and Aboriginal-led organisations to understand the issues contributing to passings by suicide and develop culturally safe supports to save lives.”
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