1 September 2011
Social exclusion is characterised by social isolation, a lack of connections and unequal access to resources – all known risk factors for suicide. This position statement reviews the literature examining social inclusion and its relevance and implications for suicide prevention. While current research does not yet offer definitive evidence to provide clear direction in developing social inclusion as a suicide prevention strategy, there are encouraging initiatives and studies which provide a strong rationale for further development of this approach to suicide prevention. In this paper, we examine the concept and definitions of social inclusion and social exclusion, and their place in Australia’s social policy agenda. Second, it will critically explore current research on what the various dimensions of social inclusion offer for further understanding the risk and protective factors of suicide, suicide ideation and suicidal behaviour. Finally, it will examine the use of a social inclusion approach to suicide prevention.