The University of South Australia (Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences)

As people continue to enjoy longer life expectancy, this demographic change has several implications for public health, with good health vital if older people are to remain independent and continue to play a part in family and community life. This partnership with the University of South Australia provides an opportunity to improve the wellbeing of older people, who are frequently identified as a priority population group by local councils as well as in the State Public Health Plan.

Under this agreement, UniSA and the Department for Health and Ageing will work collaboratively to increase action on social and economic opportunities for older people across South Australia. The partnership will also explore opportunities to support current and existing research prospects around resilient and inclusive communities. Key outcomes include increased understanding of the solutions and strategies that enable high levels of engagement and participation in all aspects of social, cultural, and economic life by older South Australians.

A product of this partnership has been the Rural Ageing and Rural Suicide Prevention research project. This piece of work focused on ageing male farmers, recognised as a vulnerable group in the South Australian Suicide Prevention Strategy 2012-2016.

The aim was to identify needs and local strategies for rural suicide prevention for older farmers through consultation with key community based stakeholders.

Key objectives related to this aim included identifying:

  1. What suicide prevention strategies for older farmers are being implemented in rural South Australia;
  2. Current areas of strength in terms of preventing suicide of older farmers;
  3. The needs of older farmers for suicide prevention and conditions underpinning distress for this population (e.g. succession planning, retirement, transition off the farm);
  4. Strategies that could be implemented to enhance suicide prevention for older farmers.

For further information please read the Final Report – Suicide and its Prevention for Ageing Farmers (PDF 885KB).

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