New data on suicide and self-harm in Australia

21 Oct 2021

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has released new data on suicide and self-harm.

The data published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) provides a better understanding how many people harm themselves, when, where and the nature of suicide and self-harm in Australia. This information can help determine who may be at increased risk.

Among the findings, AIHW reported that:

  • there were 3,139 deaths by suicide in 2020
  • males are three to four times more likely to take their own life than females
  • the highest proportion of deaths by suicide occur in mid life with more than half the deaths by suicide taking place between the ages of 30 and 59
  • females are more likely to be admitted to hospital than men for intentional self harm
  • over one third of deaths in Australians between the ages of  were due to suicide.

The work is a product of the National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring Project and part of the Prioritising Mental Health Package announced in the Federal Budget.

Reporting this data is intended to raise community awareness of suicide and self-harm, further research, improve responses and support services for those that need them, and inform the design and targeting of suicide prevention activities.