The 'Operationalized Predicaments of Suicide' (OPS) applied to Northern Territory coroners' reports
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Objective To apply the "Operationalized Predicaments of Suicide" (OPS) to coroners' reports with a view to classifying the drivers/triggers of suicide in the Northern Territory (Australia) for the years July 2000-December 2010, with attention to the total population, and to a comparison of suicide triggers for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Methods A total of 411 reports (Indigenous, 198; non-Indigenous, 213) were obtained from the National Coroners Information System (NCIS). A research officer thematically analysed each case report and classified each according to the four categories of the OPS. Calculations were performed for the entire sample and comparisons were made between Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups. Results For the total sample, 20% of suicides were triggered by mental illness, and 58% were triggered by social/environmental events. In 9% there were both mental illness and social/environmental factors, and in 14% no triggers could be identified. There were group differences; the non-Indigenous group was over represented in the mental illness category and the Indigenous group was over represented in the social/environmental category (?2 (3) = 41.5, p = 0.000). Conclusions Social/environmental stressors are important triggers of suicide in the Northern Territory. Social/environmental stressors were more often the suicide trigger in Indigenous community suicide compared to non-Indigenous community suicide.
Asian Journal of Psychiatry
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health