The Ripple Effect Final Report

This report details the design and evaluation of The Ripple Effect—a technologically-innovative, digital
intervention to reduce the stigma associated with suicide for males aged 30-64 years in rural and remote
Australian communities. The findings presented are the product of 23 months of engagement with rural and
remote farming community members affected by suicide—those bereaved by suicide, those who have
contemplated or attempted suicide, those who have cared for someone who has attempted, and those who
have been touched by suicide in other ways. The Ripple Effect recognises that males in rural Australia, in
comparison to males in the urban population, experience higher rates of suicide. This is despite similar levels of
diagnosed mental health conditions in rural and urban areas. Contextual elements such as geographic isolation,
traditional gender and cultural expectations, and close-knit communities restrict open discussion about suicide
and reinforce the effects of stigma (A. J. Kennedy, 2015). This inclination to avoid emotional vulnerability can be
detrimental when combined with feelings of weakness, shame, guilt, selfishness and the sense of rejection often
associated with an experience of suicide. The self-stigma and perceived-stigma that manifests can lead to
obscured behaviour and aversion to help-seeking, which may have life-altering effects and, ultimately lead to
increased ongoing suicide risk.

Kennedy, A., Brumby, S., Verscae, V. and McNamara, M. 2017The Ripple Effect Final ReportBeyond BlueGo to page