Reports and publications (published elsewhere)

The hidden toll: suicide in Australia

Posted on: 6 September, 2010
Issue: Vol 10 No 3, July 2010 - September 2010
Related to Injury Social and emotional wellbeing

Senate Community Affairs References Committee (2010)
The hidden toll: suicide in Australia
Canberra: Senate Community Affairs Committee Secretariat

This extensive report describes the impact of suicide on the Australian community, including high risk groups such as Indigenous youth and rural communities. The committee received 258 public submissions, and held 12 public hearings across the country. The inquiry aimed to obtain an overview of:

  • the personal, social and financial costs of suicide in Australia;
  • the accuracy of suicide reporting in Australia;
  • the appropriate role and effectiveness of agencies in assisting people at risk of suicide;
  • the effectiveness of public awareness programs; the efficacy of suicide prevention training and support for front-line health and community workers providing services to people at risk;
  • the role of targeted programs and services that address the particular circumstances of high-risk groups;
  • the adequacy of the current program of research into suicide and suicide prevention; and
  • the effectiveness of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.

The report highlights the high prevalence of suicide in Indigenous communities as a significant contributor to premature Indigenous mortality. Three recommendations resulting from this inquiry relate specifically to the need to better address suicide in Indigenous communities: additional funding for both programs and projects developed for the general Australian population, as for programs and projects aimed at populations at high risk; development of an Indigenous specific strategy; and systematic community consultation and engagement for the much needed cultural sensitivity of Indigenous targeted programs.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

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