Australian Universities Launch New E-Learning Tool to Prevent Suicide Among Students, Staff

Australia Oceania International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 09, 2024

person struggling mentally

Australian universities, in partnership with Suicide Prevention Australia, the primary role of which is to be a voice for suicide prevention, have recently launched a new tool designed to help prevent suicide among students and staff.

Universities Australia, the peak body for the sector, said the new e-learning tool aims to equip university students and staff with the necessary skills for suicide prevention,

“We all have a role to play in suicide prevention and this learning tool will play an important role in upskilling university staff and students,” Suicide Prevention Australia Chief Executive Officer Nieves Murray said.

Universities Australia Chief Executive Officer Luke Sheehy said the tool builds on the work of universities and Suicide Prevention Australia to ensure that students and staff can access safe, consistent, and high-quality healthcare when they need it.

“The e-learning package will help people understand safe communication, how to read warning signs, risk and protective factors, how best to respond to people in distress and self-care strategies,” Sheehy stressed.

According to a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) - “Suicide & self-harm monitoring”, suicide is the leading cause of death among Australians between ages 15 and 24.

Suicide Prevention Australia statistics indicate that one in two people are affected by suicide when they turn 25. In 2022, over 3,000 Australians committed suicide. That is an average of about nine deaths per day, a rate of 12.3 percent per 100,000 people.

Figures show that in 2022, the number of people tragically ending their lives was higher among men than women in all age groups. During that year, 2,455 men and 794 women died by suicide.

After a decline from 15.9 per 100,000 population in 2001 to 10.3 in 2009, suicide death rates among Australians aged 18-24 increased to 16.7 in 2020 and then declined again in 2022 to 13.6, as reported by AIHW.

More than 1.4 million domestic and international students attend universities in Australia every year. Most recent data from the Department of Home Affairs show that the number of international students in Australia soared to a new record. On February 29, a total of 713,144 international students were studying in the country.

Last year, an investigation found that five international students who were enrolled in four different universities in the state of Victoria ended their lives in 2020 without seeking professional help or support from their loved ones.

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