Year: 2003 Source: Australian Social Work, v.56, no.2, (June 2003), p.83-93 SIEC No: 20080015

In recent decades Australia has recorded one of the highest youth suicide rates worldwide. Attempted suicide is considered to be up to 50 times more common than completed suicides. This small, qualitative study, undertaken in North Queensland, aimed to offer a window into young people’s lives concerning their suicide attempt(s) and their help-seeking behaviours. In-depth interviews were undertaken with nine young people. Findings reveal help was sought from a range of individuals prior to the attempt, including family, friends and professional workers. Regarding their attempts, there was evidence in some stories of a series of events leading up to the attempt, but also evidence in others of more impulsive acts. The intent of the attempt for this sample appeared to be unique to individual attempts. Getting information about depression, and workers listening to young people’s unique story was important and workers, who could fill a ÔmateÕ role, was viewed by some participants as helpful.