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 2018–19.

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 2018–19. 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 2018–19, 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 2018–19:

  • residents of Very Remote areas recorded a rate of 202 hospitalisations per 100,000 population, almost double that of residents in Major Cities (103) which recorded the lowest rate
  • the majority of intentional self-harm hospitalisations were residents of Major Cities (63%)
  • young people aged 15–19 had the highest rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations in each remoteness area
  • the highest rate of intentional self-harm hospitalisations overall was in the 15–19 age group in Remote areas (574 hospitalisations per 100,000 population), followed by those aged 15–19 in Outer Regional areas (528).

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 2018–19:

  • overall rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations tended to increase in Very Remote (from 172 to 202 hospitalisations per 100,000 population), Remote (from 146 per 100,000 population to 183) and Outer Regional areas (from 137 per 100,000 population to 162)
  • rates in Inner Regional areas remained steady (from 126 to 132), while rates in Major Cities fell over this period (112 to 104)
  • the greatest increases in rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations occurred in those aged:
    • 25–29 in Remote areas (from 190 hospitalisations per 100,000 population to 392)
    • 50–54 in Very Remote (from 83 per 100,000 population to 171) and Remote areas (from 85 per 100,000 population to 163)
    • however, the number of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm for each of these groups was relatively small.