Almost half of all Australians (46%) are now reporting elevated distress from cost-of-living pressures. There have been calls for the Reserve Bank Australia (RBA) board meeting to factor in the impact of rate rises on the nation’s “human, not just economic, wellbeing”.
Suicide Prevention Australia’s quarterly Community Tracker for the March Quarter 2023 shows further increases in distress in housing affordability (23%, +2 points) – and now unemployment (21%, +5 points), particularly amongst “middle-age, middle-wage” Australians.
As a growing number of Australians find it harder to make ends meet, suicide prevention groups are warning of a surge in crisis calls, and rising suicide rates. They want the federal government to commit to addressing the human impact of tough economic decisions, and to fix an unaffordable and inaccessible health system.
Suicide Prevention Australia has been in conversation with the RBA (Reserve Bank Australia) about better understanding and mitigating the impacts of RBA monetary policy decisions on the wellbeing of Australians.
The past 12 months have seen an increase in suicide rates, not just interest rates. Australia cannot afford for this trend to continue. The nation’s economic and social wellbeing is at stake.
Social cohesion is at risk of being fractured and a sense of personal well-being is at tipping point for too many people. People are being stretched to breaking point, which is reflected in the rising number of people taking their own lives.
=> This is an issue that should be deeply concerning for churches in caring for people in their congregations, and in the wider community.
Suicide Prevention Australia in conversation with RBA (Reserve Bank Australia)