Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Expert Says Disasters Not Cause of Suicides

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Expert Says Disasters Not Cause of Suicides

Article excerpt

THE coronial inquest into the deaths attributed to the January 10 floods has heard that there was no evidence to back suggestions that the floods had led people to take their own lives.

State Coroner Michael Barnes is examining the flood-related deaths of 22 people and the disappearance of three people, presumed dead, between January 10 and 17.

The coroner was further tasked to examine whether there has been a rise in people taking their own lives as a result of the floods.

The director of the Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention at Griffith University, Diego De Leo, told the inquest yesterday that three people in the Toowoomba region committed suicide in the first six months of this year, compared with 17 in 2009 and 30 in 2006.

Counsel assisting the coroner Peter Johns said there had been speculation that suicide rates had risen since the floods.

However, Dr De Leo explained that data from around the world showed natural disasters in general had a apulling-together effecta. …

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