Background: This article analyses case descriptions of child suicides from 2004 to 2012 toinform future policy and practice.
Methods: Quantitative data and case descriptions for 159 child suicides (under 18 years) in Queensland, Australia, were analysed quantitatively using SPSS and qualitatively using automated content analyzis (Leximancer).
Results: More than three quarters of child suicides involved hanging and 81% of suicides occurred in the family home. Less than 20% of the deceased left a note, however there was evidence of planning in 54% of cases. Most common triggering events were family conflicts.
Conclusions: Effective suicide prevention interventions require a comprehensive understanding of risk factors. Quality of case descriptions varied widely, which can hamper injury prevention efforts through an incomplete understanding of characteristics of, and important factors in child suicide. Additional attention and resources dedicated to this public health issue could enhance the development and implementation of effective intervention strategies targeting child and adolescent suicide.
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