A Kimberley suicide crisis has emerged with reports of six deaths in six months in Derby and surrounding communities, including two in the past two weeks.

The news came as a coronial inquest examining four suicides and one unexplained death of a petrol sniffer started at the remote Balgo Aboriginal community in the East Kimberley.

The Wirrimanu Aboriginal Corporation denied access to _The West Australian _ for the inquest.

However, Dominic Mulligan, counsel assisting Coroner Alastair Hope, told how petrol sniffing, alcohol abuse and jealousy were common themes in the young men's lives.

The inquest was told that Balgo, which has just 450 residents, had a suicide rate of one for every 112 people - more than 89 times higher than the State average.

Four young males - aged between 13 and 21 - killed themselves between 2008 and 2009.

The 13-year-old took his life one night in June, three years ago.

He attended a disco on the basketball court at the remote Aboriginal community, 240km south of Halls Creek, before returning home and killing himself.

Another victim, a 21-year-old man, started drinking and sniffing glue at 15 and later suffered schizophrenia and psychosis after being struck on the head by a metal pole.

And a 19-year-old man, a petrol sniffer, took his own life in jealousy over a girl.

One teenager, 15, hanged himself at the nearby Mowanjum Aboriginal community several weeks ago.

A 20-year-old man died suddenly after he became involved in an argument with another man over a woman.

Government agencies and the Standby Suicide Response will hold an emergency community meeting in Derby today after the six deaths.

WA Police, Department for Child Protection, Derby Aboriginal Health Service, Shire of Derby West Kimberley, WA Country Health, Department of Indigenous Affairs and KinWay have invited the community to air concerns in a bid to stem the tide of deaths.

The West Australian

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