Kimberly region's suicide rate among highest in the world

SUICIDE rates among indigenous people in the Kimberley region of Western Australia are among the highest in the world.

A report released today also shows self-harm in the region occurs at 10 times the global average.

There were 125 suicides in the Kimberley area between 2005 and 2014 and 102 of the victims were Aboriginal.

The shocking figures are outlined in the Medical Journal of Australia by Dr Catherine McHugh, of the Kimberley Population Health Unit, and Dr Murray Chapman, from the Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service.

The researchers found 71% of the Aboriginal deaths were male and 95% of the victims were aged under 30.

They also found that 70% of the victims had never accessed mental health services.

In 2014, about 476 Aboriginal people from the region presented to health services after considering deliberate self-harm or suicide.

The Kimberley's indigenous population is almost 14,000 people.

"Collective trauma and ongoing socio-economic deprivation are drivers of escalating self-harm and suicide rates among indigenous Australians," the authors said in the Medical Journal of Australia article.

"This highlights the need for multidisciplinary, culturally appropriate, innovative and youth focused approaches to suicide prevention activities."

Anyone with issues arising from this story can phone Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

Topics:  indigenous self harm suicide

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