Focus on prevention: Youth suicide in the ACT

This fact sheet is a summary of key findings from the Committee’s 2021 Review of Children and Young People Who Have Died as a Result of Intentional Self-Harm.

Download the Focus on prevention: Youth suicide in the ACT factsheet [PDF 190KB]

Review commissioned because of suicide increase in 2018

On average, 2 young people die by suicide each year in the ACT. When this rose to 5 in 2018, the ACT CYPDRC looked into the deaths of 8 young people who died between 2017 and 2019.

The review demonstrated there were common challenges faced by the young people who died by suicide, their families and friends as well as protective factors and services in the ACT community that promoted their wellbeing.

Findings focus on role of community and design of support services

Common challenges of ACT young people consistent with wider research

Risk factors of young people who died by suicide, included:

Other risk factors included: traumatic childhood experiences, such as abuse or neglect, alcohol or drug use and experiencing homophobic or transphobic abuse.

Protective factors and social supports key to prevention

For these young people, often it was only a young person’s peers and family who were aware of their distress.

The review found:

Systemic gaps found

Findings indicated:

ACT CYPDRC recommendations based on the review

Find out more
MindMap ACT Youth Portal
– a dedicated portal for children and young people up to 25 years of age to help navigate Canberra’s mental health system and to find the right service and support.

Office of Mental Health and Wellbeing – learn more about youth suicide prevention in the ACT on their website.

Facts on youth suicide from the ACT Child Death Register (2018–2020)

Contact us

If you have comments about this review, the ACT Children and Young People Death Review Committee is keen to receive feedback from interested ACT residents.

Phone: 02 6207 7764