Suicide is one of the most daunting human tragedies and a serious public health problem. It is estimated that suicide affects the lives of six more people, including relatives, friends and work colleagues of the deceased.
There are approximately 900,000 suicides a year world-wide, and World Health Organization data show that suicide is now one of the three leading causes of death among people aged 15-34 years. Males have the highest rates of suicide in countries of Eastern Europe, while females have the highest rates in Asia.
The World Health Organization reports that death from suicide accounts for more fatalities than either from armed conflicts globally or the number of people dying from traffic accidents.
Approximately 2000 Australians die from suicide every year. Men are 4 times more likely to die by suicide than women and they use more violent means generally to end their lives.
Located at Griffith University's Mt Gravatt campus, the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention is at the forefront of national and international suicide research. Recognised for its scientific standing, the Institute under the leadership of Professor Diego De Leo became a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention in July 2005.
The Institute conducts research in all aspects of suicide prevention and manages the Queensland Suicide Register. Apart from research activities, AISRAP provides education and training for health and allied professionals. Offering postgraduate programs in suicidology in 2001 was a world first. In addition, the Institute holds Suicide Prevention Skills Training workshops for professionals and consumers. Workshops are tailored to specific organizational needs of workers, and are delivered within an adult learning framework.
In 2004, the Institute opened the Life Promotion Clinic at Griffith University. This was the first outpatient facility in Australia focused on providing specialised treatment to people with a history of suicidal behaviour.In 2008 AISRAP was established as the National Centre of Excellence in Suicide Prevention. Funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health, the aim of the National Centre of Excellence is to provide advice around evidence-based best practices and evaluation in suicide prevention, to support Australian Commonwealth Departments, non-government agencies, academics and community groups in their respective initiatives in the field of suicide prevention.
The Institute receives financial and infrastructure support from the Commonwealth and Queensland governments, the private sector and Griffith University.