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3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2011 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/03/2013   
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Contents >> Suicides >> Method of Suicide

METHOD OF SUICIDE

In 2011, the most frequent method of suicide was hanging, strangulation and suffocation (X70), a method used in more than half (56.0%) of all suicide deaths. Poisoning by drugs (X60-X64) was used in 13.1% of suicide deaths, followed by poisoning by other methods (X65-X69) including by alcohol and motor vehicle exhaust (9.7%). Methods using firearms (X72-X74) accounted for 5.9% of suicide deaths. The remaining suicide deaths included deaths from drowning, jumping from a high place, and other methods.


Mechanism By Intent - Selected Causes

Coronial processes to determine the intent of a death (whether intentional self-harm, accidental, homicide, undetermined intent) are especially important for statistics on suicide deaths because information on intent is necessary to complete the coding under ICD-10 coding rules. Coroners' practices to determine the intent of a death may vary across the states and territories. In general, coroners may be reluctant to determine suicidal intent (particularly in children and young people). In some cases, no statement of intent will be made by a coroner. The reasons may include legislative or regulatory barriers, sympathy with the feelings of the family, or sensitivity to the cultural practices and religious beliefs of the family. For some mechanisms of death where it may be very difficult to determine suicidal intent (e.g. single vehicle accidents, drownings), the burden of proof required for the coroner to establish that the death was suicide may make a finding of suicide less likely.

The table below presents selected external causes of death by mechanism and intent. It is possible that additional suicide deaths are contained within the Intent categories of Accidental and Undetermined Intent, particularly for the mechanisms of poisoning and hanging, see Explanatory Notes 92-95.

5.5 Selected external causes of death, Mechanism by intent - 2011(a)(b)

Accidental death
Intentional self-harm(c)
Assault
Undetermined intent
Other intent(d)
Total
Mechanism of death
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.
no.

Poisonings (X40-X90, X60-X69, X85-X90, Y10-Y19)
987
518
2
157
0
1 664
Hanging (W75-W84, X70, X91, Y20)
226
1 273
7
89
0
1 595
Drowning and submersion (W65-W74, X71, X92, Y21)
169
49
0
26
0
244
Firearms (W32-W34, X72-X74, X93-X95, Y22-Y24)
8
135
24
17
0
184
Contact with sharp object (W25-W29, X78, X99, Y28)
7
62
75
17
0
161
Falls (W00-W19, X80, Y01,Y30)
1 845
104
0
16
0
1 965
Other(e)
2 656
132
82
149
291
3 310
Total
5 898
2 273
190
471
291
9 123

(a)Causes of death data for 2011 are preliminary and subject to a revisions process. See Explanatory Notes 29-33 and Technical Notes, Causes of Death Revisions, 2006 in Causes of Death, Australia, 2010 and Causes of Death Revisions, 2009 and 2010 in this publication.
(b) Data cells with small values have been randomly assigned to protect the confidentiality of individuals. As a result, some totals will not equal the sum of their components. Cells with a zero value have not been affected by confidentialisation.
(c) Includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 92-95.
(d) Includes Complications of medical and surgical care (Y40-Y84), Legal Intervention and operations of war (Y35-Y36), Sequelae with surgical and medical care as external cause (Y88) and Sequelae of other external causes (Y89).
(e) Includes sequelea, explosives, smoke/fire/flames, blunt object, jumping or lying before moving object, crashing of motor vehicle, other and unspecified means.



Crisis helplines

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467

Kids Helpline (for young people aged 5 to 25 years): 1800 55 1800

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