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Preventing suicide by young people requires integrative strategies

Michael J Dudley and Ping-I Lin
Med J Aust 2021; 214 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50939
Published online: 15 February 2021

We need more robust strategies with targeted, customised approaches, and funding for evidence‐based interventions

Suicide is the leading cause of death of young people in Australia,1 despite extensive research into risk factors for self‐harm. In this issue of the MJA, Hill and colleagues2 report their analysis of National Coronial Information System (NCIS) data for the 3365 young people (10–24 years old) who died by suicide in Australia during 2006–2015. Most were boys or young men (74%); many had diagnosed or possible mental health problems (57%), but fewer than one in three had been in contact with mental health services. A large proportion (38%) were not employed or in education or training at the time of their deaths; 14% were Indigenous Australians, 8% resided in remote locations, and 38% lived in the socio‐economically most disadvantaged regions of Australia.2 Although Hill and her co‐authors could not assess causal relationships between these factors and suicide, their statistics suggest potential targets for focused prevention.

  • Michael J Dudley1,2
  • Ping-I Lin2,3

  • 1 Adolescent Service, Prince of Wales and Sydney Children's Hospitals, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
  • 3 South Western Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, NSW

Correspondence: m.dudley@unsw.edu.au

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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