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Exploring community-based suicide prevention in the context of rural Australia: A qualitative study
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-21, 16:13 authored by Laura GrattidgeLaura Grattidge, Thi HoangThi Hoang, Jon MondJon Mond, David LeesDavid Lees, Denis VisentinDenis Visentin, Stuart AucklandStuart Auckland
Suicide rates in rural communities are higher than in urban areas, and communities play a crucial role in suicide prevention. This study explores community-based suicide prevention using a qualitative research design. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups asked participants to explore community-based suicide prevention in the context of rural Australia. Participants recruited ((n = 37; ages 29–72, Mean = 46, SD = 9.56); female 62.2%; lived experience 48.6%) were self-identified experts, working in rural community-based suicide prevention (community services, program providers, research, and policy development) around Australia. Data were thematically analysed, identifying three themes relating to community-based suicide prevention: (i) Community led initiatives; (ii) Meeting community needs; and (iii) Programs to improve health and suicidality. Implementing community-based suicide prevention needs community-level engagement and partnerships, including with community leaders; gatekeepers; community members; people with lived experience; services; and professionals, to “get stuff done”. Available resources and social capital are utilised, with co-created interventions reflecting diverse lifestyles, beliefs, norms, and cultures. The definition of “community”, community needs, issues, and solutions need to be identified by communities themselves. Primarily non-clinical programs address determinants of health and suicidality and increase community awareness of suicide and its prevention, and the capacity to recognise and support people at risk. This study shows how community-based suicide prevention presents as a social innovation approach, seeing suicide as a social phenomenon, with community-based programs as the potential driver of social change, equipping communities with the “know how” to implement, monitor, and adjust community-based programs to fit community needs.
Publication titleInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Department/SchoolSchool of Health Sciences
Place of publicationSwitzerland