Analysis of factors associated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide in Australia: A scoping review

Annabelle Wilson, Rachel Reilly, Tamara Mackean

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Suicide rates are disproportionately high for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. Suicide is a complex issue, and prevention efforts need to be informed by an understanding of the key factors associated with this higher incidence. This comprehensive scoping review was conducted within peer-reviewed and grey literature to identify risk and protective factors associated with suicide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian peoples. Articles were initially assessed for relevance by title and abstract, and then full text records were reviewed for suitability using the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Fifty-nine articles were deemed to be suitable for inclusion, and data were extracted using NVIVO 11. Factors shown to be protective against suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians were grouped into seven categories including culture, country, support, community driven prevention programs, approach to prevention programs, engagement in activities and individual factors. Factors shown to be risk factors for suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians were grouped into 14 categories including sociodemographic factors, cultural genocide, racism, intergenerational trauma, grief and loss, prior exposure to suicide, communication of intent, health issues, drugs and alcohol, relationship issues, individual factors, lack of support, social determinants of health and death in custody factors. The review identified significantly more risk factors than protective factors for suicide suggesting the need for increased action and suicide prevention in these areas. Further research is needed to address exactly how this may be done, for both intervention and when reporting suicides.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTranscultural Psychiatry
    Publication statusSubmitted - 1 Jul 2018


    • Suicide, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, Australia

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