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Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in women providing unpaid care


Providing unpaid care for a person with a serious illness or disability is physically and emotionally demanding and can lead to depression, anxiety and hopelessness. All of these are risk factors for suicide, but there has only been one study on suicide risk in carers. In that study, more than 50% of spousal carers of gay men with AIDS experienced suicidal ideation, irrespective of their own HIV status. This project will: identify the prevalence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in women who provide unpaid care for a person with a long-term illness or disability; identify the caring, health and social factors associated with suicidality in these carers; explore changes in suicidality over time among women have been caring for at least six years; and identify differences in suicidality between long-term, mid-term and new carers.