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CRRMH shines a light on rural suicide prevention

As part of World Suicide Prevention Day (Thursday 10 September), the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) is encouraging everyone to check in with friends, neighbours and family.

Over the past year, our rural communities have faced everything from fire, drought, floods and a global pandemic. It’s important now, more than ever, that we work together to make sure that people are doing okay.

Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) Research Lead Dr Hazel Dalton said it’s a timely reminder to look out for each other and seek help if you need it.

“We need to continue to shine a light on suicide prevention to save lives.

“That is why one of the CRRMH’s key focus areas is understanding and preventing rural suicide. Currently our research team are collaborating on some important research projects that we know will have an impact in the wider community,” Hazel said.

One of these collaborative projects aims to address the high rates of suicide among men in farming occupations by designing suicide prevention strategies and digital resources tailored specifically to their needs.

The project aims to generate new knowledge about rural community engagement in suicide prevention and involves consultation with men in farming occupations with lived experience as well
as consulting with rural Suicide Prevention Networks and other stakeholders.

The project is being led by the National Enterprise for Rural Community Wellbeing, University of South Australia.

The CRRMH research team is also analysing coronial data looking at the differences between sociodemographic factors, mental health and remoteness in relation to suicide. This data analysis will also inform another paper to identify the impact of physical health, mental health and social factors on suicide across the age spectrum.

Both papers’ aim to shed some light on how we can identify trends and contributing causes and what suicide prevention strategies are needed.

“We know there is a gap when it comes to understanding rural suicide data and by analysing this data we hope to better understand what strategies and support will help reduce suicide rates in the future,” Hazel said.

If you have any concerns about yourself or a loved one, please contact the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 for advice or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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