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Open AccessArticle

Suicide in Rural Australia: Are Farming-Related Suicides Different?

1
National Centre for Farmer Health, School of Medicine, Deakin University, Victoria 3300, Australia
2
Western District Health Service, Foster Street, Hamilton, Victoria 3300, Australia
3
Coroners Court of Victoria, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University, Victoria 3006, Australia
4
School of Nursing and Midwifery, LaTrobe University, Victoria 3086, Australia
5
School of Nursing and Healthcare Professions, Federation University, Victoria 3806, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 2010; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17062010
Received: 27 February 2020 / Revised: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 16 March 2020 / Published: 18 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in Agriculture)
Rural Australians experience a range of health inequities—including higher rates of suicide—when compared to the general population. This retrospective cohort study compares demographic characteristics and suicide death circumstances of farming- and non-farming-related suicides in rural Victoria with the aim of: (a) exploring the contributing factors to farming-related suicide in Australia’s largest agricultural producing state; and (b) examining whether farming-related suicides differ from suicide in rural communities. Farming-related suicide deaths were more likely to: (a) be employed at the time of death (52.6% vs. 37.7%, OR = 1.84, 95% CIs 1.28–2.64); and, (b) have died through use of a firearm (30.1% vs. 8.7%, OR = 4.51, 95% CIs 2.97–6.92). However, farming-related suicides were less likely to (a) have a diagnosed mental illness (36.1% vs. 46.1%, OR=0.66, 95% CIs 0.46–0.96) and, (b) have received mental health support more than six weeks prior to death (39.8% vs. 50.0%, OR = 0.66, 95% CIs 0.46–0.95). A range of suicide prevention strategies need adopting across all segments of the rural population irrespective of farming status. However, data from farming-related suicides highlight the need for targeted firearm-related suicide prevention measures and appropriate, tailored and accessible support services to support health, well-being and safety for members of farming communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: suicide; mental health; risk factors; farmers; rural population; Australia suicide; mental health; risk factors; farmers; rural population; Australia
MDPI and ACS Style

Kennedy, A.; Adams, J.; Dwyer, J.; Rahman, M.A.; Brumby, S. Suicide in Rural Australia: Are Farming-Related Suicides Different? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2010.

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