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Suicide

Analysis and Comment (42)

Homicide-suicides are usually perpetrated by men who murder a current or former intimate partner. Lukas Koch/AAP

To prevent murder-suicide we need to better understand offenders

Last week’s tragic deaths of the Hunt family, in what police are treating as a multiple homicide-suicide incident, have left a close-knit community in shock. It is always hard to understand why such events…
A still from the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s award-winning Be Deadly Online campaign. ACMAcybersmart/YouTube

Well-connected Indigenous kids keen to tap new ways to save lives

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North-East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
How to cover suicide has always been a contentious issue for journalists. EPA/JANOS MARJAI HUNGARY OUT

Public health, private grief: how should journos report suicide?

While fans were in collective mourning over the untimely death of Robin Williams, American TV channel Fox News’ Shepard Smith was making profuse apologies for calling the comedian a “coward” after his…
Historical evidence of suicide rates varying with the philosophy of the times urges caution about adopting an unqualified libertarian stance that privileges autonomy above all else. Arallyn!/Flickr

Do people really have the right to a rational suicide?

Seven Australians will die today as a result of suicide, the leading cause of death in young Australian men. So the media interest surrounding one in particular, that of 45-year-old Nigel Brayley’s suicide…
Philip Nitschke and David Leyonhjelm have appealed libertarian ideals in their arguments for euthanasia and same-sex marriage respectively. Joe Castro & Luca Koch/AAP

Strange bedfellows: euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and libertarianism

The suspension of Philip Nitschke’s medical registration, and the events leading up to it, has sparked one of the most heated discussions about euthanasia in Australia for some time. What’s surprising…
Dr Philip Nitschke admits advising a healthy 45-year-old man who later killed himself. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Memo to Philip Nitschke: let’s keep euthanasia for the dying

People who operate on the edge risk falling over it and into the abyss. And euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke has been in freefall since it emerged he had email contact with a healthy 45-year-old West…
Dejected South Korean fans after their team lost against Algeria. EPA/Kim Chul-Soo

Suicide rates and World Cup results: beyond the numbers game

Several studies appear to show quite noticeable associations between hosting and performance at World Cups and suicide rates. When France hosted (and won) the football World Cup in 1998, the suicide rate…
There is no evidence that Call of Duty causes suicide. campuspartymexico

Don’t blame Call of Duty for teenage suicide

A British coroner has sparked anxiety among parents by linking Call of Duty, one of the most popular video games in the world, to teenage suicide. John Pollard says Call of Duty has “figured in recent…
Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha

Hard Evidence: does GM cotton lead to farmer suicide in India?

Arguments surrounding the use of genetically modified crops and whether they are the solution to the world’s problems of food supply and public health are no nearer to resolution than when GM was introduced…
A spike in suicides linked to spikes in heat. www.shutterstock.com

Heatwaves linked to an increase in Australian suicide rates

Heatwaves and high temperatures can have a dramatic impact on people’s physical health. We only have to look at the increases in emergency department admissions during recent heatwaves to know that. But…
Murder-suicide is a unique (and extreme) response to significant, stressful life events such as relationship separation. Image from shutterstock.com

Extreme family violence: trying to understand murder-suicide

As details emerge of the latest appalling shooting incident in the United States, it seems the alleged perpetrator may have planned to die by suicide, after taking the lives of others - just as many have…
Given the money Australia has spent on mental health, it’s surprising that population data doesn’t show expected gains. Ben Barnes

Why hasn’t the mental health of Australians improved?

Despite two decades of investment in improving mental health services, the mental health of Australians has not improved. This may be because haven’t been spending money on the right approach and need…
Maternity services often become fragmented after women have given birth. David/Flickr

We need to protect new mothers from trauma and suicide

Research we have just published shows the deaths of 48 of the 129 women in New South Wales who died during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth were due to suicide and trauma. It suggests mothers…
Young people are uniquely vulnerable to bullying – as both victims and perpetrators. kid-josh/Flickr

How can we protect young people from cyberbullying?

The recent arrest by Canadian police of two young people who allegedly shared a photo of a young woman being sexually assaulted has once again highlighted the danger that social media can pose for teenagers…
Prisoners' mental health was identified as an issue in the 1700s. Pickersgill Reef

Police are unprepared to care for people with mental illness

As long ago as 1780, John Howard noted that prisons were housing more “idiots and lunatics” and emphasised the detrimental effects that this had on the prison regime for both sets of prisoners. But while…
Evidence from the Netherlands shows that common fears about legalising voluntary euthanasia aren’t warranted. Image from shutterstock.com

Right time to die: why rational suicide should be legalised

Australians are living longer. But not everyone wants to live as long as they can. People sometimes have good reasons for wanting to end their lives: they may be suffering from a terminal illness; they…
Barriers can reduce the number of suicides at a particular location but broader means restriction measures are more complex. AAP/Dan Peled

Reducing access to the means of suicide

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk’s recent announcement that barriers are to be erected on the Story Bridge in an effort to reduce suicides is very welcome. Studies consistently show that barriers have…
Gender and sexual minorities are known to be at high risk of suicide. Guillaume Paumier

Preventing suicide among gender and sexual minorities

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and intersex (LGBTI) people were recognised as being specific high-risk groups for suicide in a 2010 senate committee report. While every suicide may not be preventable…
Governments, industry and communities must work together to address suicide risk factors for FIFO/DIDO workers. AAP/Bagus Indahono

Mining, fly-in, fly-out workers and the risk of suicide

Barely a week passes without media coverage of some aspect of the real or perceived impacts of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in drive-out (DIDO) work, especially in the mining sector. We hear about the…
Artworks by Mic Eales from the Inspired Lives exhibition at The Dax Centre. ‘End of statistics’ in the foreground. Mic Eales

The art of healing suicide: re-creating original narratives to embrace life

My doctoral studies in visual arts entails working with people who are not necessarily visual artists, but see the value in artistically expressing their story to expand our understanding of suicide. Suicide…
1783: Maria Anna Mayrin murders a three-year-old girl, turns herself in and is sentenced to death. Stadt- und Staatsbibliothek Augsburg, Graphic, Verbrecher etc.

A hell of an incentive for murder: a rationalist’s guide to suicide

The Holy Roman Empire, 1704: Agnes Catherina Schickin slits the throat of a seven-year-old boy. 1746: Johanna Martauschin smashes the skull of a small child. 1753: Sophia Charlotte Krügerin cuts the throat…
Around 40% of farmers who died by suicide had accessed some type of professional mental health service. AAP

Farmer suicide isn’t just a mental health issue

They toiled and they fought through the shame of it - Through wilderness, flood, and drought… …The miseries suffered, unvoiced, unknown - And that’s how the land was won. Henry Lawson’s characterisations…
Certain types of media reporting may trigger further suicidal behaviours among vulnerable people. garryknight

The facts about safe reporting of suicide

The issue of media reporting of suicide was once again thrust into the spotlight this week, with mental health researcher, clinician and former Australian of the year Pat McGorry renewing his calls for…
Better efforts are needed to address avoidable risk factors for suicide, such as alcohol and drug abuse. yaruman

Reducing Indigenous suicide through empowerment and pride

We’ve long known that rates of suicide in Indigenous communities are higher than the wider Australian population. But we’re much less clear about why this is the case. Each life lost to suicide reminds…
We need to learn from lessons of the past when it comes to veterans' mental health. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Vietnam and Iraq: lessons to be learned about mental health and war

Physical injury and death in war is expected. But we also now know the stories of large numbers of veterans suffering major psychological trauma. These involve Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety…
On the ninth anniversary of the US-led Iraqi invasion, suicide attacks were used against civilians in Iraq. EPA/Mohammed Jalil

Good and bad deaths: why we react to suicide bombers the way we do

Suicide attacks and car bombings across Iraq this week have killed at least 43 people and left 255 wounded. We are sadly now very familiar with the phenomenon of the suicide bomber, but the particular…
The father of Nael Abu Hlayel, who blew himself up in Israel in 2002, holds up pictures of his son. AAP

9/11: Why suicide bombers blow themselves up

Ten years ago, nineteen young Muslims commandeered passenger jets and killed themselves, taking with them 2973 people to the inferno of fire. Since the 9/11 attacks, suicide bombings have become a staple…
Some see the ageing population as a burden on the health system. xavi talleda/flickr

Forget me not: preventing suicide among the elderly

With public attention firmly focused on the increase in the suicide rate among people under the age of 35 in the last 20 years, few people are aware that those aged 75 years and over, particularly males…

Research and News (5)

Research Briefs (3)