The use of mental health services, psychological distress, loneliness, suicide, ambulance attendances and COVID-19

While there has been a rise in the use of mental health and crisis services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic was not associated with a rise in suspected deaths by suicide in 2020 and 2021, see Suspected deaths by suicide for details. Preliminary national mortality data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for 2020 to 2021 show that the rate of death by suicide in Australia was lower in 2020 (12.1 per 100,000 population) and 2021 (12.0) than in 2019 (13.1), see Deaths by suicide over time.

Deaths referred to the coroner where initial investigation points to suicide are referred to as ‘suspected deaths by suicide’. In some cases it can take a number of years for the coronial process to determine if suicide was the cause of a specific death. These data are not directly comparable with coroner-certified deaths as reported in Deaths by suicide in Australia or published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as ‘Causes of Death, Australia’.