12 February 2018

Rural suicide and its prevention: a CRRMH position paper

This paper by the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) draws attention to the unacceptable rates of rural suicide and discusses how to prevent these deaths. The number of suicides in 2016 was 50% higher in rural and remote areas than in Australian cities, with the suicide rate getting higher as areas become more remote, and suicide rates increasing at a faster rate than in cities. The CRRMH suggests that five focus areas are needed to address rural suicides. These focus areas are: (1) prevent people who experience suicidality from taking their own lives; (2) help those who are affected by suicide; (3) provide support to vulnerable groups; (4) build protective factors in children and young people; and (5) build healthy and resilient people and communities. Importantly, the prevention of rural suicide is not seen as the sole responsibility of health or mental health services. Rather, there are important roles for governments, the private sector, health and welfare institutions, rural and remote communities, and for individuals.