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.
The number of suspected deaths by suicide in Victoria each year has been relatively steady over the past five years, with the number in 2020 (713) similar to 2019 (720), 2018 (703) and 2017 (683) (Coroners Court 2021). The number of suspected deaths by suicide reported in Victoria from 1 January to 31 August 2021(439) is similar to the numbers reported for the same periods in 2017 (456), 2018 (453), 2019 (480) and 2020 (493) (Coroners Court 2021).
The monthly data show considerable variation (see Figure 1 below), however, ‘these monthly fluctuations tend to even out over the course of a year. This demonstrates the importance of not attributing too much significance to the suicide frequency in any one month’ (Coroners Court 2020a). The variation between months ‘usually results from random factors rather than underlying systemic issues or emerging clusters. The data therefore should be interpreted cautiously, with great care taken in drawing conclusions about any apparent increase or decrease that is observed’ (Coroners Court 2021).
Data for each year from 2016-2020 and from 1 January to 31 August 2021 show that (Coroners Court. 2020b, 2021):
Data from the interim Queensland Suicide Register (iQSR) show that the number of suspected deaths from suicide from 1 January to 31 July 2020 (454) was similar to that of the same period in 2019 (445) and 2017 (456) (Leske et al. 2020).
Leske et al. have estimated monthly age-standardised suspected suicide rates in Queensland in 2020 for both males and females, taking into account population growth for more meaningful comparisons between years. Estimated rates for 2020 are similar to the previous 5 years; see Figures 2 and 3, replicated with permission from Leske et al. (2020) and including updated data for August 2020.
While data for Queensland do not show rises in suspected suicide rates compared with previous years, the 2020 iQSR reported that up until 31 July 2020, police officers mentioned COVID-19 in 32 of 454 suspected suicides (7%) (Leske et al. 2020). For more information see COVID-19.
The New South Wales Suicide Monitoring System, established in October 2020, reported 897 suspected deaths by suicide in NSW 2020. This is 46 lower than the number of deaths reported in 2019 (943) (NSW Ministry of Health 2021). The number of suspected deaths by suicide reported in New South Wales from 1 January to 31 July 2021 (522) is similar to the numbers reported for the same period in 2020 (509) and 2019 (504) (NSW Ministry of Health 2021).
In 2019, 2020 and from 1 January to 31 July 2021 (NSW Ministry of Health 2021):
Coroners Court of Victoria 2020a. Monthly Suicide Data Report, 1 – 27 August 2020.
Coroners Court of Victoria 2020b. Monthly Suicide Data Report, December 2020 update – 18 January 2021.
Coroners Court of Victoria 2021. Monthly Suicide Data Report, August 2021 update – 14 September 2021.
Leske S, Adam G, Schrader I, Catakovic A, Weir B, & Crompton D (2020). Suicide in Queensland: Annual Report 2020.Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University.
NSW Ministry of Health 2021. Monthly Suicide Data Report, Report 11. Data to July 2021.
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
The browser you are using to browse this website is outdated and some features may not display properly or be accessible to you. Please use a more recent browser for the best user experience.