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Rural and remote statistics

Suicide rates – particularly of men – in rural and remote areas of Australia are significantly higher than the national average, and very remote regions have suicide rates more than double that of major capital cities.18–21 Additionally, while national suicide rates have declined (since a peak in 1997),22 rates among Australia’s remote communities is increasing.20

It is important to note that there is no one rural or remote community, and no singular rural community experience. People living in rural and remote regions are not a homogeneous group and ‘remoteness’ is not always a geographical concept; it can also refer to isolation in terms of access to information, resources, communications and social networks.23


  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia's health 2014. Australia's health series no. 14, cat. no. AUS 178. Canberra: AIHW, 2014.
  2. Alston M. Rural male suicide in Australia. Soc Sci Med 2012;74(4):515–22.
  3. Kõlves K, Milner A, McKay K, De Leo D. Suicide in rural and remote areas of Australia. Brisbane: Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, 2012.
  4. Bridge S. Suicide prevention – Targeting the patient at risk. Aust Fam Physician 2006;35(5):335–38.
  5. Snowdon J. Why have Australian suicide rates decreased? Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2016;50(1):13–15.
  6. Suicide Prevention Australia. Position statement: Responding to suicide in rural Australia. Leichgardt: SPA, 2008 [reviewed 2010].


After suicide: A resource for GPs