Dec 13th 2021
One Australian farmer commits suicide every 10 days, study reveals
One farmer commits suicide every 10 days, the results of an Australian first study of suicide rates among farmers reveal. The study, which was based on ten years of data, found that the suicide rate in farmers is 60% higher than non-farmers.
National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) policy team member Luke Sartor said 370 farmer suicides were reported between 2008-2019.
Relationship breakdown, underlying depression and easy access to guns were listed as key risk factors.
"We know guns are a part of everyday life on a farm," he said.
"But easy access to such a quick and lethal method probably accounts for the high rates of suicide in the bush to some degree.
"In fact, after the crackdown on automatic weapons following the Port Arthur mass shootings, we saw farmer suicide rates fall quite significantly. So access to firearms is an important factor.
"Farmers with certain demographic characteristics also had higher suicide rates including males, between the ages of 20 and 50, particularly those who have separated from their spouse, and middle-aged farmers.
"During the recent drought in NSW, we had seen the rates of suicide increase quite a bit as well."
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