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More than 1450 people responded to the Relationships Australia online survey in July 2017.  Three‑quarters of survey respondents (76%) identified as female, with more females than males responding in every age group (see figure 1 below).  More than 55 per cent of respondents comprised women aged between 30-49 years (inclusive).

As for previous surveys, the demographic profile of survey respondents remains consistent with our experience of the groups of people that would be accessing the Relationships Australia website.

More than 90 per cent of female and 85 per cent of male survey respondents thought that suicide was a significant problem in Australia.  Estimates of the number of suicide attempts varied between male and female survey respondents, with women were more likely to estimate higher rates of attempted suicide than men (figure 2).

Survey respondents were asked which groups of young people they considered were at highest risk of suicide.  More than 45 per cent of women and 33 per cent of men reported that all young people are equally at risk, while one-quarter of men (26%) and one-fifth (19%) of women reported that young men were most at risk of suicide (figure 3).

Both male and female survey respondents were most likely to report that they thought stress, depression or other mental health issues (88%) as the greatest reason for suicide risk.  A large proportion of survey respondents also reported bullying (67%), loneliness or isolation (61%) and abuse or violence in their family (61%) as reasons for suicide risk for young people (figure 4).

A substantial majority of men (55%) and women (63%) thought that young people used drugs and/or alcohol to cope with suicidal thoughts, followed by using digital media or technology such as apps (10%) and speaking with friends and family (women – 7%, men - 10%).

Figure 5 shows that survey respondents considered that responsibility for reducing suicide lay with many people and organisations.  Men were more likely to report that responsibility for reducing youth suicide rested with families (84%) and the healthcare system (74%), while women were more likely to report that it rested with families (85%), the government (78%) and the healthcare system (83%).

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Relationships Australia State and Territory websites