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Caution: Some people may find parts of this content confronting or distressing.
Please carefully consider your needs when reading the following information about suicide and self-harm. If this material raises concerns for you contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or see other ways you can seek help.
The information included here places an emphasis on data, and as such, can appear to depersonalise the pain and loss behind the statistics. The AIHW acknowledges the individuals, families and communities affected by suicide each year in Australia.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that information relating to Indigenous suicide and self-harm is included.
The AIHW supports the use of the Mindframe guidelines on responsible, accurate and safe suicide and self-harm reporting. Please consider these guidelines when reporting on statistics on the monitoring of suicide and self-harm.
Reporting deaths by suicide and hospitalisations for intentional self-harm at smaller, more ‘localised’ geographical areas, can reveal information that may be masked by reporting for the whole of Australia or by states and territories—allowing for a better understanding of suicidal behaviours for local communities, policymakers and researchers.
Although suicide has a significant impact on the community, it is a relatively rare cause of death in Australia meaning that depending on the level of geography considered, there may be areas where there are very few—or even no—deaths by suicide recorded in a given year. The number of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm are approximately 10 times that of deaths by suicide; however, further disaggregation (or breakdown) of the data by age or sex reduces the numbers of events able to be reported for each group in each small geographical area in a single year. Strict privacy and confidentiality controls or concerns regarding statistical reliability mean that small numbers (or rates based on them) cannot be publicly reported, thereby reducing the coverage of reportable data as smaller geographical areas are considered.
Numbers and age-standardised rates (where they could be reliably calculated) of deaths by suicide and hospitalisations for intentional self-harm have been reported by PHN area and Statistical Areas level 3 and 4. For the reporting of suicide and hospitalised intentional self-harm data by Statistical Area, the smallest possible geographical area has been used while still allowing for maximum coverage of reportable data across these small geographical areas.
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