Intentional self-harm hospitalisations by remoteness areas

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

Understanding the geographical distribution of hospitalisations due to intentional self-harm based on patients’ area of usual residence (see Technical notes for more information) can help target suicide prevention activities to areas in need.

Intentional self-harm hospitalisations, by age and remoteness areas, 2012–2013 to 2019–20.

The line graph shows age-specific rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations for Very Remote, Remote, Outer Regional, Inner Regional, Major Cities and Total remoteness areas for all ages combined from 2012–13 to 2019–20. Users can also choose to view age-specific rate, numbers and proportion of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm by remoteness area and specific age groups. Between 2012–13 to 2019–20, rates for all ages were highest for residents of Very Remote areas, except for 2017–18, when the highest rate was for residents of Remote areas. Residents of Major Cities recorded the lowest rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations during this period.

Are people in regional and remote areas at greater risk of intentional self-harm hospitalisations?

In 2019–20:

  • residents of Very Remote areas recorded a rate of 198 hospitalisations per 100,000 population, almost double that of residents in Major Cities (102) which recorded the lowest rate
  • the majority of intentional self-harm hospitalisations were residents of Major Cities (65%)
  • young people aged 15–19 had the highest rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations in each remoteness area except Remote where 20-24 year olds had the highest rate
  • the highest rate of intentional self-harm hospitalisations overall was in the 20-24 age group in Remote areas (756 hospitalisations per 100,000 population), followed by those aged 15–19 in the same area (677).

A similar pattern was seen with deaths by suicide as age-standardised suicide rates tended to increase with remoteness of place of residence see Suicide by remoteness areas.

How have rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations changed for remoteness areas?

Between 2012–13 and 2019–20:

  • overall rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations tended to increase in Very Remote (from 172 to 198 hospitalisations per 100,000 population), Remote (from 146 per 100,000 population to 189) and, to a lesser extent, Outer Regional areas (from 136 per 100,000 population to 146)
  • rates fell in Inner Regional (from 126 to 119), and Major Cities (112 to 102) areas over this period
  • the highest increases in rates of intentional self-harm hospitalisations occurred in those aged 20–24 (from 341 hospitalisations per 100,000 population to 756), 15-19 (465 to 677) and 40-44 (195 to 378) in Remote areas however, the number of hospitalisations for intentional self-harm for each of these groups was relatively small.