Mental health experts want to halve Australia's suicide rate over the next 10 years.

The National Coalition for Suicide Prevention (NCSP) launched the plan on Tuesday, which is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Sue Murray, chief executive of Suicide Prevention Australia, said despite more people seeking help, suicide rates haven't gone down over the past 20 years with 2300 people taking their lives each year.

A new approach to suicide prevention is needed, Ms Murray said.

"We are under no illusion that we have set ourselves a very ambitious target," she said.

"If somebody doesn't put their hand up and do it, we're going to stay plateaued, as we have done for the last 20 years."

Mental health researchers say suicide claims more lives than skin cancer and car accidents.

To tackle this, the Black Dog Institute is trialling the world's first online suicide prevention program.

Former NSW Liberal leader John Brogden, who now chairs Lifeline Australia, said his personal experience had made him realise the importance of helping people who might be having suicidal thoughts.

"It's a little over eight years since I found myself in the situation ... where I thought the simple and best thing to do, at a time of great crisis, was to take my own life."

Mr Brogden said while services such as Lifeline's new Online Crisis Chat service is helping people in similar situations, it is not enough.

"There is so much more we can do to prevent people from taking their own life every year," he said.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

 

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