Contacts with mental health services before suicide: a comparison of Indigenous with non-Indigenous Australians

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Title Contacts with mental health services before suicide: a comparison of Indigenous with non-Indigenous Australians
Author Sveticic, Jerneja; Milner, Allison Joy; De Leo, Diego
Journal Name General Hospital Psychiatry
Year Published 2012
Place of publication United States
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract Objective: Most people who die by suicide never seek help, particularly members of ethnic minorities. This study compared the prevalence of contacts with mental health services, types of services accessed and factors related to help-seeking behaviors by Indigenous and non- Indigenous Australians. Method: All suicides by Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons from Queensland, Australia, during the period 1994–2007 were analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression models. Results: Non-Indigenous suicide cases were almost two times more likely than Indigenous counterparts to have ever received help for mental health problems (43.3% vs. 23.8%). The most common source of help for Indigenous persons was inpatient care, while for non-Indigenous persons, it was general practitioners. Factors increasing the likelihood of service utilization by Indigenous persons were suicide attempt in last year, living in metropolitan area and not being married. Among non-Indigenous persons, these factors were recent communication of suicidal intent or suicide attempt, recent treatment for physical illness and problematic consumption of alcohol. Conclusions: Indigenous Australians die by suicide at a rate twice higher than the non-Indigenous population, yet they are significantly less likely to seek professional help for mental health concerns. Help-seeking behavior among Indigenous Australians at risk of suicide should be promoted thorough provision of culturally appropriate services. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Keywords: Suicide; Indigenous populations; Help-seeking; Mental health services
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
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Copyright Statement Copyright 2012 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 34
Issue Number 2
Page from 185
Page to 191
ISSN 0163-8343
Date Accessioned 2012-02-15
Language en_US
Research Centre Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health; Mental Health
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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