Tamworth's Lifeline service said the small reduction in suicide during COVID-19 lockdowns shows it is possible to get the issue under control.
New England North West regional manager Michael Were said the 2020 Australian Bureau of Statistics report, released last week, shows 3139 people took their own lives that year.
Some 876 of them were in NSW.
"Those deaths will have lasting impacts on other people," he said.
"While the data does not give specific regional rates we know that rates of suicide are higher in regional areas.
"The small reduction in rates of suicide shows that as a community we can reduce suicide but that we need to do more."
The 2020 death toll was the lowest rate since 2016.
People may not be dying, but they are suffering in record numbers, according to Lifeline phone records. And the problem is getting worse, not better, in 2021.
On an average 2020 day, Lifeline received a record 2868 phone calls, up from the 2019 average of 2533. The number is even higher in 2021, with average daily call volume rising to 3064.
The 33 busiest days in Lifeline's 58-year history have all been recorded in 2021.
The service attributed the increase to both the pandemic and the Black Summer bushfires, which were extinguished in early 2020.
On its busies 2020 day, the Lifeline help line received 3,326 calls in one day.
Mr Were said the problem is broader than just one for the experts.
"As a community we can all play a role in suicide prevention by looking out for and being there for others," he said.
The ABS data shows that of 3139 people who died by suicide in 2020, men continue to be overrepresented.
Only 876 NSW residents died of suicide in 2020, compared with 937 in 2019.
Young and middle aged people are most likely to die by suicide, with 83.6 per cent of deaths by suicide were among people younger than 65 years.
Rural areas have a higher suicide rate than capital cities. Many Tamworth doctors believe the lower number of psychiatrists and mental health clinicians are partly responsible for the higher toll.
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