The statistics for intentional self-harm hospital separations (‘separations’ is a term defining hospitals ending care for a patient) are worse for both Gippsland men and women; the Victorian rate is 43.0 for men and 82.8 for women per 100,000 of population.
For Gippsland men, this rate was 77.9 and for Gippsland women was 148.3.
Wellington women have three times the Victorian female rate, East Gippsland females have twice the Victorian female rate.
East Gippsland and Wellington males have well over twice the state rate.
Latrobe men and women have almost twice the Victorian rates.
Source: Dept of Health & Human Services – Intentional Self-Harm Injury (Public Hospital Separations for Gippsland)
Life expectancy at birth is lower for males across all Gippsland Local Government Areas (LGAs); the Victorian figure is 80.3 years for males and 84.4 for females, whereas the worst Gippsland statistic is for the Latrobe Valley with 76.9 for males and 82.2 for females.
Department of Health 2012 Regional Health Status Profiles Gippsland region
Suicide and its Link to Remoteness
Suicide rates increase with increases in remoteness; this means that East Gippsland and Wellington possibly experience some vulnerability to suicide relating to greater distance from main population centers.
Suicide and hospitalised self-harm in Australia – Trends and analysis (2014)
Socioeconomic Disadvantage by Postcode
The DOTE report 2015 (Dropping Off the Edge) measures postcodes by the degree of factors that limit people’s life opportunities. According to this report Morwell is in the most disadvantaged postcode rank of Band 1, Moe is in Band 2, Lakes Entrance is in Band 4, Wonthaggi and Orbost are in Band 5 and Churchill is in Band 6. Latrobe is generally a highly disadvantaged area according to this.
DOTE 2015 Fact Sheet
Suicide Rates – Cities and Regional
Generally the suicide rate among men 15-29 years living outside major cities is twice as high as the general population, whilst twice as many farmers die by suicide compared to general occupations; this is significant for the Gippsland region with its farming and remote communities.
Medical Research and Rural Health – Garvan Report 2015, Garvan Research Foundation
Possible Causes of Disability
In Baw Baw, Latrobe, South Gippsland and Wellington, mental disorders are the top cause of disability, whilst in Bass Coast and East Gippsland, mental disorders are the second top cause of disability. (1)
Considering the established links between mental illness and suicide, this is an area of concern that needs attention in Gippsland. (2)
Victorian Burden of Disease Study (1)
Psychiatric Diagnoses in 3275 Suicides: A Meta-Analysis
Arsenault-Lapierre, G., Kim, C., and Turecki, G. BMC Psychiatry 2004, 4:37 (2)
Community Structures and their Link to Suicide
Studies have identified communities under 4,000 (2) and rural males (3) as at higher risk of suicide. This is relevant to Gippsland, which has smaller townships and farming communities.
Suicide in Rural and Remote Areas of Australia, Kolves, K., Milner, A., McKay, K. and DeLeo, D. (2012) The Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Brisbane, 2012 (2)
Rural Male Suicide, Alston, M. Social Science and Medicine, 74 (2012) 515-522 (3)
Mental Health and its Link to Suicide
Having a mental illness is strongly linked to suicide. In one study using a meta-analysis approach (a study that combines the data of numerous studies) 87.3% of suicide completers had a mental illness whilst 14.0% had no diagnosis. Affective disorders, like depression, were responsible for 43.2% of cases and substance mis-use in 25.7%. Having more than one psychiatric disorder increases the suicide risk further.
Psychiatric Diagnoses in 3275 Suicides: a meta-analysis, Arsenault-Lapierre, G., Kim, C., and Turecki, G. BMC Psychiatry 2004, 4:37
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