Intentional self-harm hospitalisations by remoteness areas

Hospitalisations data for patients with intentional self-harm injuries includes those with and without suicidal intent. For further information see the Technical notes.

Understanding the geographical distribution of hospitalisations due to intentional self-harm based on patients’ area of usual residence (see Technical notes for more information) can help target suicide prevention activities to areas in need.

Intentional self-harm hospitalisations, by age and remoteness areas, 2012–2013 to 2020–21.

The line graph shows age-specific rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations for Very Remote, Remote, Outer Regional, Inner Regional, Major Cities and Total remoteness areas for all ages combined from 2012–13 to 2020–21. Users can also choose to view age-specific rate, numbers and proportion of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm by remoteness area and specific age groups. Between 2012–13 to 2020–21, rates for all ages were highest for residents of Very Remote areas, except for 2017–18, when the highest rate was for residents of Remote areas. Residents of Major Cities recorded the lowest rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations during this period.

Are people in regional and remote areas at greater risk of intentional self-harm hospitalisations?

In 2020–21:

  • residents of Very Remote areas recorded a rate of 178 hospitalisations per 100,000 population, compared to that of residents in Major cities (107 per 100,000 population) which recorded the lowest rate
  • two-thirds of intentional self-harm hospitalisations were residents of Major cities (66%)
  • young people aged 15–19 had the highest rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations in each remoteness area except Very Remote where those aged 20–24 years old had the highest rate
  • the highest rate of intentional self-harm hospitalisations overall was in the 15-19 age group in Remote areas (724 hospitalisations per 100,000 population), followed by the same age group in Outer Regional areas (542 per 100,000 population).

A similar pattern was seen with deaths by suicide as age-standardised suicide rates tended to increase with remoteness of place of residence see Suicide by remoteness areas.

How have rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations changed for remoteness areas?

Between 2012–13 and 2020–21:

  • overall rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations tended to increase in Very Remote areas (from 172 to 178 hospitalisations per 100,000 population), Remote areas (from 146 to 171 per 100,000 population) and Outer Regional areas (from 136 to 149 per 100,000 population)
  • rates fell in Inner Regional areas (from 125 to 120 per 100,000 population), and Major Cities (111 to 107 per 100,000 population) over this period
  • the highest increases in rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations occurred in those aged 15–19 in Remote and Outer Regional areas (from 465 to 724 hospitalisations per 100,000 population and 367 to 542 hospitalisations per 100,000 population respectively) and in 20–24 year olds in Very Remote areas (from 351 to 524 hospitalisations per 100,000).