Intentional self-harm hospitalisations among young people

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

The data presented here are for children and young people aged between 0 and 24, grouped into 3 age ranges: 14 and below, 15–19 and 20–24 years. For children, especially those aged under 10, it is difficult to determine whether a self-inflicted injury was done with intent to self-harm.

Intentional self-harm hospitalisations in young people, 2008–09 to 2018–19.

The line graph shows age-specific rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations for young people aged 14 and below, 15–19 and 20–24 from 2008–09 to 2019–19. Users can also choose to view age-specific rate, numbers and proportion of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm by sex for each age group. Between 2008–09 and 2019–19, rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations were highest for young people aged 15–19 ranging from 246.8 per 100,000 population in 2008–09 to 427.7 in 2016–17 and down to 353.7 in 2018–19.

Young people have the highest rates of hospitalisation for intentional self-harm

In 2018–19:

  • the age-specific hospitalisation rate due to intentional self-harm was lowest for children aged 14 and below (24 per 100,000 population)
  • the rate for young people aged 15–19 was 354 hospitalisations per 100,000 population, while the rate for 20–24 year olds was lower, 250 per 100,000 population
  • the age and sex-specific rate was highest for females aged 15–19 (555 hospitalisations per 100,000 population), followed by females aged 20–24 (336)
  • rates for young males were lower (161 and 168 for males aged 15–19 and 20–24, respectively).

Rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations for girls and young females are rising

From 2008–09 to 2018–19:

  • the rate of intentional self-harm hospitalisations in females aged 14 and below doubled (from 19.2 hospitalisations per 100,000 population in 2008–09 to 42.2 in 2018–19, with a peak of 48.9 hospitalisations per 100,000 population in 2016–17)
  • the rate of intentional self-harm hospitalisations in females aged 15–19 has risen from 376 hospitalisations per 100,000 population in 2008–09 to 555 in 2018–19, with a peak of 687 hospitalisations per 100,000 population in 2016–17
  • rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations for females aged 15–19 were at least 60–70% higher than for males in this same age group
  • rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations for males have also increased over this period but not to the same extent as that of females; the greatest increase was in the 15–19 age group (from 125 per 100,000 population in 2008–09 to 161 in 2018–19).