3 April 2017

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' culture has proved its resilience by surviving intact and strong through many millennia and through two centuries of injustice and cruelty, including violence, dispossession of land, imprisonment and the removal of children.

This exceptional culture continues to guide, sustain and console Aboriginal people but they still struggle with racism, discrimination, pervasive disadvantage and the continuing grief and trauma of a culture that honours ancestors and still experiences the early and preventable illness or loss of family members. Of particular concern is that Aboriginal people in NSW die by suicide at a substantially higher rate than do non-Aboriginal people.

To inform local action in Aboriginal suicide prevention, the Commission has collaborated with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to build a detailed map comparing the suicide rates for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in NSW. Purple areas are those in which the Aboriginal suicide rate is higher, while orange areas are those in which the non-Aboriginal suicide rate is higher. Many individual stories lie behind these statistics and the Commission hopes that these data will be used to better inform local understanding of relative suicide rates and where local responses should focus.

PLEASE NOTE: that as map files are large, loading or updating of maps may be slow depending on the speed of your internet connection.

To view the specific rates for each Statistical area just click on the area and a pop-up flag will appear showing the relevant rate.

Explanatory notes

The rates presented in this map are crude death rates and have not been age standardised. They reflect the average number of deaths by suicide from 2006 to 2014, per 100,000 of the estimated population.

Please note that these rates have not been age-standardised, they are crude rates per 100,000 population.

The reliability of this information is lower in areas where there is a small population of Aboriginal people.

Negative values indicate that the non-Aboriginal suicide rate is higher than the Aboriginal rate.

NA values indicate that there were no recorded deaths by suicide of Aboriginal people in the area during the time period.

This map uses ABS 'Statistical Area 4'. A Statistical Area 4 generally comprises 100,000 to 500,000 people. Some areas have been combined to prevent possible identification of individuals.

Data visualisation by Mental Health Commission of NSW based on data provided by Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Commission has also developed maps at the SA4 level that reveal the type of mechanism used as a proportion of suicide deaths within a specific region. This information is available upon request to individuals or organisations who have an established interest in planning and service improvement and/or research in mental health or suicide prevention. If you satisfy this requirement and you are interested in gaining access to this data, please send an email stating your name, the organisation you represent and the purpose for using this data, to the following address: mhc@mhc.nsw.gov.au

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Last updated: 4 August 2017