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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 352;

Pathways to Suicide in Australian Farmers: A Life Chart Analysis

Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, National Centre of Excellence in Suicide Prevention, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt Campus, Brisbane, QLD 4122, Australia
Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia
Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Broadway, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College, London SE5 8AF, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Rory O’Connor and Gwendolyn Portzky
Received: 27 January 2017 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 22 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
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Farmers have been found to be at increased risk of suicide in Australia. The Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behaviour suggests that the proximal factors leading to the suicidal desire or ideation include an individual’s experiences of both perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness. Suicidal desire with acquired capability to engage in lethal self-injury is predictive of suicidal behaviour. This study investigates the pathways to suicide of 18 Australian male farmers in order to understand the suicidal process and antecedents to suicide in Australian male farmers. The psychological autopsy (PA) method was used to generate life charts. Two pathways with distinct suicidal processes were identified: acute situational (romantic relationship problems and financial concerns/pending retirement) and protracted (long-term psychiatric disorder). Long working hours, interpersonal conflicts, physical illnesses and pain, alcohol abuse, access to firearms, and exposure to drought were additional common factors identified. An understanding of the interrelatedness of diverse distal and proximal risk factors on suicidal pathways in the wider environmental context for male farmers is required when developing and implementing rural suicide prevention activities. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide; psychological autopsy; life chart; life events; farming; the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behaviour suicide; psychological autopsy; life chart; life events; farming; the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicidal Behaviour

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Kunde, L.; Kõlves, K.; Kelly, B.; Reddy, P.; De Leo, D. Pathways to Suicide in Australian Farmers: A Life Chart Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 352.

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