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Credit: My Netdoctor

The number one cause of death in Australia for men under 45 is not due to road fatalities or any kind of physical disease. It is suicide and the statistics are disturbing.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, nearly 2,000 Australians take their own life every year. That means almost six people die by suicide every single day and overall, rate for males is three times higher than females.

Surprisingly it is not a young adult problem as suicide is the highest cause of death for woman aged 35 to 44.

Amanda Wheeler, chief executive officer of Lifeline WA said although the stigma behind depression and mental health was slowly disappearing, more was needed from individuals and the community.

As a society, we often talk about our physical health, we talk about our financial health and our social health - but quite often we don't talk about our mental health and are not as proactive in doing things that can actually help us manage the stresses of day-to-day existence, she said.

The benefits of physical activity on mental health had been well documented but Ms Wheeler said it was equally important how it affected the way people saw and felt about themselves by increasing pride in personal appearance and self-esteem.

Moreover, those who exercised usually had better support system and felt less socially isolated, which is a major problem in suicide prevention.

She has been sponsored to run a 14km-course for the HBF Run for a Reason on May 23.

I'm somewhat nervous but I'm taking this very seriously, said Ms Wheeler.

I'm going for a run every morning and I've managed to get a couple of mates to do it with me.

A huge portion of the funds raised for Lifeline will be donated to the telephone counselling service, the crisis hotline 13 11 14 and also includes training of telephone counsellors to meet high number of calls.

Last year in WA, the number was about 45,000 and across the country, more than 500,000.

Lifeline also offers education programs to help people recognize and respond appropriately to those who might be at risk of suicide or in a difficult emotional condition.