The National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring Project was announced as part of the Australian Government’s Prioritising Mental Health Package in the 2019–20 Australian Government Budget (Department of Health 2019). The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has received $5 million per year for 3 years (2019–20 to 2021–22) to develop and implement a monitoring system. As part of the Australian Government’s commitment to mental health and suicide prevention through the 2021–22 Budget, the Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring System will continue to develop and expand, with additional funding of $4.2 million per year from 2022–23 to 2024–25.
The aims of the project are to improve the quality, accessibility and timeliness of data on suicide and self-harm in Australia. The AIHW will achieve this by:
- collating, coordinating and reporting data on suicide, intentional self-harm and suicidal behaviours
- undertaking data development activities to address identified data gaps and enhance the comprehensiveness of data
- creating a monitoring system to support the accessibility and useability of data.
The AIHW is developing the project in collaboration with the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) and the Australian Government Department of Health, with advice provided by an Expert Advisory Group, including lived experience representatives, state and territory government representatives, researchers and representatives from the suicide prevention sector. The National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring Project will also draw on the expertise of the National Injury Surveillance Unit (NISU) at Flinders University (a collaborating unit of the AIHW) and other subject matter experts as required.
The National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring Project will provide a key resource for governments, services and communities to better respond to suicide and self-harm by informing the development of policy and service planning, and by enabling the identification of trends, emerging areas of concern and priority groups.
The Suicide & Self-harm Monitoring Project is committed to continuous improvement of the System and as such, has engaged the University of Melbourne to conduct an independent evaluation. Consultations are also taking place to ensure the System meets the needs of stakeholders. Read more on Research & Information.