When exploring suicide data, it is important to remember that behind the numbers are people, families and communities impacted by suicide in Australia. The reasons people take their own life are complex, and often there is no single reason why a person attempts or dies by suicide.
The National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring Project has been established as part of the national effort to address suicide and self-harm in Australia. In partnership with the National Mental Health Commission, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has been funded under the Australian Government Department of Health to increase transparency and access to information, so Australians have a more informed understanding of suicide, intentional self-harm, and suicide risk.
One of the project's key goals is to facilitate more timely data on suspected deaths by suicide from all Australian jurisdictions. This is achieved by creating The National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring System, collating data from suicide registers operating in each state and territory.
The National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring System brings together key statistical data on suicide, suicide attempts and self-harm from multiple national sources. The system will be updated regularly as new data becomes available.
National Suicide and Self-Harm Monitoring System Update
The latest update to the National Suicide and Self-Harm Monitoring System includes data from the National Ambulance Surveillance System, a world-first system providing timely and comprehensive data on ambulance attendances in Australia.
How is the data collected?
Data presenting suspected suicide deaths in each jurisdiction is made available to the Australian Government on a fortnightly basis and the public shortly after through the AIHW’s Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring web page. Data presented on this page is based on initial police reports and other information available at the time of referral to the coroner and is directly comparable with data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Caution must be taken when interpreting data presented from the suicide registers. This data has yet to be examined using the official coronial process, nor has it been analysed against standardised population rates for accurate comparison. For these reasons, the data cannot be used comparatively and should be interpreted with caution.
The National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring Project
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