This chapter begins with an overview of the recent epidemiological trends in suicide and attempted suicide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal Australians and how this compares with the situation in other post-colonial English speaking nations such as Canada and New Zealand. It then reviews studies exploring the historical and social aetiology of suicide and the nature of its occurrence and consequences within Aboriginal community contexts. These studies provide insights into the group, community, situational and intergenerational factors associated with the increased likelihood of suicide and suicidal behaviour in some communities. The life-course study of individuals who develop suicidal behaviour or complete suicide is another source of evidence which has helped explain why some individuals are more vulnerable to stresses which trigger or escalate suicidal behaviour. The phenomenon of suicide ‘clustering’ in which the idea of suicide, and suicidal behaviour appears to become socially ‘contagious’ with so-called ‘copy-cat’ behaviour is then discussed. The chapter concludes with a review of what works in prevention, early intervention and postvention, including proactive bereavement support and containment of suicide clusters, as well as longer-term strategies for community.
The information contained on this website has been sourced by the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) and AIPEP 2. The first AIPEP was funded by the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning. AIPEP 2 is part of the Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Project, funded by the Million Minds Mission Grant. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning or the Million Minds Mission Grant.
Several of the images used throughout this website are credited to Chris Lewis