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Mental Disorders and Communication of Intent to Die in Indigenous Suicide Cases, Queensland, Australia

Authors

  • Diego De Leo MD, PhD,

    1. Diego De Leo, Allison Milner, and Jerneja Sveticic, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Queensland, Australia.
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  • Allison Milner PhD,

    1. Diego De Leo, Allison Milner, and Jerneja Sveticic, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Queensland, Australia.
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  • Jerneja Sveticic MSc

    1. Diego De Leo, Allison Milner, and Jerneja Sveticic, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Queensland, Australia.
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Address correspondence to Diego De Leo, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, 176 Messines Ridge Road, Mt Gravatt Campus, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, QLD 4122, Australia; E-mail: d.deleo@griffith.edu.au

Abstract

In comparing Indigenous to non-Indigenous suicide in Australia, this study focussed on the frequency of the association between some psychiatric conditions, such as depression and alcohol abuse, and some aspect of suicidality, in particular communication of suicide intent. Logistic regression was implemented to analyze cases of Indigenous (n = 471) versus non-Indigenous suicides (n = 6,655), using the Queensland Suicide Register as a data source. Compared to non-Indigenous suicides, Indigenous cases had lower odds of being diagnosed with unipolar depression, seeking treatment for psychiatric conditions or leaving a suicide note. Indigenous suicides had greater odds of verbally communicating suicide intent and having a history of alcohol and substance use. The magnitude of these differences is remarkable, underscoring the need for culturally sensitive suicide prevention efforts.

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