Across Australia, suicide is now at a 10 year high — according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, it has affected all demographics and regions in different ways.
It is the leading cause of death among Australians between the ages of 15–44. Three times as many men are killing themselves when compared to women. An Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is five times more likely to commit suicide than a non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Specifically, this article aims to investigate the steady rise of suicide rates in rural communities. The reasons for this rise are numerous: farmers in rural communities face social isolation, constant hardship, often have easy access to means of immediate death and are at the mercy of unpredictable weather conditions, which can cripple the financial situation of families that rely on the growth of crops or the health of their livestock.
Through various interviews with foundations, charities, government departments, private companies, politicians, individuals and families, I hope to paint a clear picture on what exactly is happening, how and why the rates are increasing, the efforts of various parties to prevent it, where it’s most prominent and what the future may hold for the rural communities who must bear the constant pressure that suicide can apply.