Suicide attempts in New Zealand and Australia

Jane Pirkis, Annette Beautrais and Tony Durkee

in Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198570059
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199640461 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Suicide attempts in New Zealand and Australia

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New Zealand and Australia both have national suicide prevention strategies in place. Initially, the prevention activities delivered through these strategies focused on completed suicide only. More recently, there has been an acknowledgement that suicidal behaviours occur on a gradient and attempted suicide is a significant problem in its own right. It is estimated that for every completed suicide, there are approximately fifty suicide attempts carried out by females and ten by males.

In both countries, suicide attempts are the highest among young people, however, national population-based surveys suggest that, overall, nearly 0.5 per cent of the adult population makes a suicide attempt in a given year. It is evident suicide attempts are a major public health problem and must be addressed accordingly. This chapter examines the epidemiology of suicide attempts in the two countries, drawing on hospitalization data and data from population-based surveys and commenting on how the findings can inform prevention activities.

Chapter.  3061 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry

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