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Intentional Self-Harm

If at any point you feel worried about harming yourself while viewing this information—or if you think someone else may be in danger—please stop reading and seek help.


Intentional self-harm includes the deliberate injuring of oneself, with or without the intention of fatal injury (suicide). The causes of self-harm are complex and vary for each individual. Self-harm is a strong risk factor for suicide. Therefore, monitoring of intentional self-harm is key to suicide prevention.

Suicide and self-inflicted injuries were the third leading cause of premature death from injury or disease in Australia in 2015. Males experience almost 3 times the fatal burden from suicide and self-inflicted injuries than females. Further, suicide accounts for 33% of all injury deaths among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the rate of suicide is also highest among males and Māori. In 2016, 553 people died by suicide in New Zealand, which equates to an age-standardised rate of 11.3 per 100,000

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In Australia, the National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring System (the System) has been established as part of the national effort to address suicide and self-harm in Australia. This system enables accessible and timely data on deaths by suicide and on self-harming and suicidal behaviours, aiming to provide a better understanding of suicide and self-harm. 

Key resources

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