Decline in young male suicide hides rise in remote areas

A sharp decline in the overall suicide rate among young Australian men has masked a rise in remote areas and low socioeconomic groups, according to a series of papers examining global trends in suicide.

The papers, published in The Lancet today, consider a variety of factors that have contributed to a 60% global increase in suicide over the past 45 years. “To voluntarily end one’s own life is incomprehensible for most of us,” writes Michael Lewieck, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and Sara Miller, a Research Fellow in Genetics at Harvard University.

“In The Lancet, three reviews help us to better understand the incomprehensible, each with the aim of contributing to strategies to reduce the risk of self-destructive behaviour.” One of the reviews, which addresses the issue of suicide in young men, notes that a series of studies have shown that rural or remote residence increases the risk of suicide among that group in Australia.

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