AUSTRALIA has lost 314 individuals, currently, to the worldwide pandemic that is COVID-19.
However, potentially more damning is the number of people who have passed away due to self-harm during March - which the coronavirus count just eclipses.
Every year, more than 3000 people (3,046 in 2018) intentionally cause themselves harm - up from 2,337 in 2009.
Suicide is currently the leading cause of death for people aged between 15 and 44.
Seventy-five per cent of those who take their own lives are men.
More than 65,000 Australians make a suicide attempt each year, with same-gender attracted Australians estimated to experience up to 14 times higher rates of attempted suicide than their heterosexual peers.
"We need to know in real-time where the deaths are occurring because there's also a contagion factor with suicide just like there is with infectious disease," said one of the nation's pre-eminent mental health advocates, professor Pat McGorry.
In May, experts predicted suicide rates would continue to rise due to the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Preliminary modelling by the Brain and Mind Centre suggested the COVID-19 crisis could cause up to 750 extra suicides a year if the unemployment rate was around 11 per cent.
However, in a worst-case scenario, where unemployment was to peak at about 16 per cent, that could double to an additional 1500 additional deaths a year.
"I think a crisis like COVID-19 means we really need to get this [mental health support] happening soon because there will be a surge in suicide risk in the coming months," McGorry said.
Mental health support services have also been inundated since the start of the pandemic.
Calls to Lifeline are up by 25 per cent on last year, while Beyond Blue has seen a 40 per cent leap in calls since before COVID-19.
The South Coast alone has lost numerous individuals during that time, including four in the past couple of weeks.
This has seen the Gerringong SLSC spring into action to do their bit of the community, by announcing they will be holding a 24-hour row for mental health from midday on Saturday, August 22 to midday on Sunday, August 23 - an initiative originally started by Avalon Beach in 2018 to raise money and awareness for mental health charities Gotcha4Life and One Eighty.
"This great initiative first started on the Northern Beaches, who unfortunately lost a young bloke to suicide," Gerringong SLSC president Richard Payne said.
"We've been rowing against them and a number of crews who had already jumped on board for a couple of years and thought we'd get involved.
"Unfortunately suicide is becoming more and more prevalent and we feel we have a responsibility to raise awareness in our wider community - especially with so many young nippers and cadets at the club.
"Obviously the money is fantastic but the most important thing is saving young people's lives."
Payne and his club have received a sensational response from the Gerringong community, with most of the rowing spots already being filled - with current Gerringong Lions players, as well as former stars Ashton Sims and Shaun Timmins, signing up.
"There's a real buzz around the row now because everyone can see there is a problem in society and wants to help - even if they don't exactly understand it," Payne said.
"The statistics are horrifically mind-blowing and people have got to know it's okay to feel down.
"Obviously we are going through unprecedented times with COVID-19 and the lockdowns, seeing less social interaction.
"I know our club, since being lockdowned in March, have barely been able to socialise apart from seeing each other out in the surf, which has been really hard.
"I'm no expert on the matter, which is happening on a worldwide scale, but we need to encourage people to talk more, which is why we have started to create pathways for our younger athletes to be able to reach out to others.
"The whole Gerringong community has been hurting lately and we don't want to lose anyone else - especially if something as simple as a phone call could change everything."
There are still spots available for Gerringong's 24-hour row and you can sign-up here.
Gerringong is one of 16 clubs from NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria that will take part in the event, which will be linked up via Zoom for the first time.
"We encourage anyone who wants to take part to jump in," Payne said.
"It's not about how far you can row - it's about raising awareness and getting the conversation started.
"Members from the club, like myself, will be there for the whole event and if the weather is clear on Sunday morning, we will move the ergs in front of the cafes, to spread the word even further."
If you can't get involved in the event, you can still support it by donating here.
Numbers to call if you or anyone you know needs help are:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36
Headspace 1800 650 890
QLife 1800 184 527