Increase in youth suicide observed in first three months of 2023
Wednesday 26 April 2023
Troubling figures released today by the Coroners Court of Victoria show that there have been 13 suicides of people under 18 in Victoria in the first three months of 2023.
This is a worrying increase in the number of youth suicides in the state. From 2019 – 2022, the number of youth suicides for the same period of 1 January to 31 March ranged between 2 and 6. And the total annual number of youth suicides for the preceding four years ranged from 15 to 23.
The figures are presented in the Coroners Court Monthly Suicide Data Report – March 2023, which includes comparative annual figures for 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2022.
Amongst the 13 deaths, there were nine males and four females between the ages of 13 and 17 years.
The coronial investigations into these deaths are in the early stages. The deaths occurred in diverse circumstances across communities in both Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria, with no clear links established to date between any of the deaths.
In Victoria all suspected suicides are required to be reported to the Court and are investigated by coroners to understand the complex drivers contributing to these deaths and identify opportunities for prevention.
In addition to investigating individual deaths, the Court monitors and regularly shares data with State and Commonwealth governments to inform their work in suicide prevention.
The source of this data is the Victorian Suicide Register (VSR), the state’s most accurate, real-time database on suicides. The Court reviews newly reported deaths on a daily basis to identify and add those that occur in circumstances consistent with suicide to the VSR.
Quotes from the State Coroner Judge John Cain
The deaths of these young people by suicide in Victoria in just three months is of great concern.
The drivers of suicide are complex, and we must remember that behind each of these deaths is a unique personal story. For each of the families the loss is immeasurable.
The impact of a young person’s suicide on the wider community can also be profound and far-reaching. Young people have particularly broad community connections, through their families and friends, schools, sporting clubs and other activities they take part in.
The health and wellbeing of young Victorians is a community responsibility. While we work with state and federal government to provide data that informs targeted suicide prevention programs, I urge parents and friends to help our young people stay connected and supported.
Coroners are currently investigating these cases to understand these deaths and how we can further strengthen prevention responses.
A copy of the report can be accessed here: https://www.coronerscourt.vic.gov.au/coroners-court-monthly-suicide-data-report-march-2023
Media contact: Claudia Hodgens 0407 403 371 | email@example.com