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IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 3154: A Systematic Review of the Antecedents and Prevalence of Suicide, Self-Harm and Suicide Ideation in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth

29 Aug 2019

IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 3154: A Systematic Review of the Antecedents and Prevalence of Suicide, Self-Harm and Suicide Ideation in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph16173154

Authors:
Joanne M. Dickson
Kate Cruise
Clare A. McCall
Peter J. Taylor

Suicide and self-harm represent serious global health problems and appear to be especially elevated amongst indigenous minority groups, and particularly amongst young people (aged 24 years or younger). This systematic review investigates for the first time the antecedents and prevalence of suicide, self-harm and suicide ideation among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. Web of Science, PubMed, PsychINFO, CINAHL databases and grey literature were searched from earliest records to April 2019 for eligible articles. Twenty-two empirical articles met the inclusion criteria. The data confirmed that indigenous youth in Australia have elevated rates of suicide, self-harm and suicidal ideation relative to the nonindigenous population. Risk factors included being incarcerated, substance use and greater social and emotional distress. Notably, though, information on predictors of suicide and self-harm remains scarce. The findings support and justify the increasing implementation of public health programs specifically aimed at tackling this crisis. Based on the review findings, we argued that Aboriginal communities are best positioned to identify and understand the antecedents of youth self-harm, suicide ideation and suicide, and to take the lead in the development of more effective mental health preventive strategies and public policies within their communities.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health