Suicide is a new and growing problem for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory. The only detailed published study, looking at data from 1981 to 2002, shows that there was only one suicide by an Indigenous man in the NT in 1981, in contrast to seven that year by non-Indigenous men. In the 22 year period the first suicide by an Indigenous woman was not until 1991, while between one and three by non-Indigenous women had been recorded in every year since 1984 and four were recorded that year.
The study by Mary-Anne Measey, Shu Qin Li and Robert Parker was published in 2005 by the NT Department of Health and Community Services. It reports that the rate of suicide amongst men in the NT, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, increased during the 1990s and early 2000s, while the Australian rate remained stable. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Drawing by Sue McLeod for Suicide Stories: Feeling unloved and surrounded by grog abuse and violence.