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3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/03/2014   
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METHOD OF SUICIDE

In 2012, the most frequent method of suicide was hanging, strangulation and suffocation (X70), a method used in more than half (54.4%) of all suicide deaths. Poisoning by drugs (X60-X64) was used in 14.5% of suicide deaths, followed by poisoning by other methods (X65-X69) including by alcohol and motor vehicle exhaust (8.5%). Methods using firearms (X72-X74) accounted for 6.8% 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 92-94.

5.5 Selected external causes of death, Mechanism by intent - 2012(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)
935
582
1
135
0
1 653
Hanging (W75-W84, X70, X91, Y20)
229
1 379
14
37
0
1 659
Drowning and submersion (W65-W74, X71, X92, Y21)
188
44
2
15
0
249
Firearms (W32-W34, X72-X74, X93-X95, Y22-Y24)
4
173
40
9
0
226
Contact with sharp object (W25-W29, X78, X99, Y28)
7
79
97
6
0
189
Falls (W00-W19, X80, Y01,Y30)
1 997
112
1
7
0
2 117
Other(e)
2 531
166
119
92
273
3 181
Total
5 891
2 535
274
301
273
9 274

(a) Causes of death data for 2012 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, 2010 and 2011 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 92-94.
(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 sequelae, 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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