22 Jun 2009

Study into rising rural suicide rate in Australia

9:53 am on 22 June 2009

The emotional wellbeing of rural men in the wake of an escalating suicide rate and the erosion of traditional support networks are the subject of a Australian study now under way.

A psychology student from the Univeristy of Adelaide, Stephanie Kutek, is looking at how important social support and community networks are to the happiness of rural men in particular.

In New Zealand, the suicide rate in rural areas has largely remained constant, with any spikes mostly corresponding to a similar rise in urban populations.

But Ms Kutek says the suicide rate among rural men in Australia has been steadily increasing over the past 20 years.

She hopes the research will eventually find ways of helping to lower the rate.