Miseries suffered, unvoiced, unknown? Communication of suicidal intent by men in ‘rural’ Queensland, Australia.
It has long been argued that suicide prevention efforts in rural locations face not only structural barriers, such as a lack of accessible health care and specialized mental health services, but also a range of cultural barriers. A commonly discussed cultural factor that may contribute to higher rural suicide rates is low levels of help-seeking behavior, which in turn act as a barrier to accessing and receiving care. However, the assumption that suicide by rural men is more likely to be accompanied by low help-seeking behavior, relative to urban men, has not been well tested. Using data from the Queensland Suicide Register, this study evaluates one form of help-seeking behavior-communication of suicidal intent-among men who died by suicide. Contrary to the expectation that suicide in rural areas would be associated with lower levels of help-seeking behavior than suicide in urban areas, it was found that communication of suicidal intent was broadly comparable across rural and urban settings. The implications for suicide prevention policies and service delivery strategies are discussed.
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior