Journal article

Cluster Suicides Among Unemployed Persons in Australia Over the Period 2001-2013

Allison Milner, Lay San Too, Matthew J Spittal



There has been no research on whether particularly vulnerable people such as the unemployed are prone to being in a suicide cluster (defined as an unusually high number of suicides occurring in a defined geographical area and/or over a relatively brief period of time). We investigated the presence of unemployed suicide clusters in Australia over the period 2001–2013 using a Poisson discrete scan statistic approach. Spatial, temporal and spatial/temporal clusters comprised 13.4, 4.4 and 1.7% of all unemployed suicides respectively. These results suggest the importance of targeting preventative efforts in where large numbers of unemployed persons who have died by suicide resided before death.


Awarded by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Funding Acknowledgements

Funding was provided by Australian Rotary Health, Deakin University and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (SRG-1-091-13). We thank Suzanne Mavoa for her suggestions regarding the analytic approach.