3303.0 - Causes of Death, Australia, 2015 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/09/2016   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product


INTENTIONAL SELF-HARM IN ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLE

This section focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide deaths for which the usual residence of the deceased was in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia or the Northern Territory. Data for Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory have been excluded, in line with national reporting guidelines (for information on issues with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification, see Explanatory Notes 56-66).

In 2015, 152 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons died as a result of suicide. The standardised death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons was 25.5 deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to 12.5 deaths per 100,000 for non-Indigenous persons. Suicide deaths also accounted for a greater proportion of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths (5.2%) compared with deaths of non-Indigenous Australians (1.8%).


INTENTIONAL SELF-HARM DEATHS BY AGE

In the five years from 2011 to 2015, intentional self-harm was the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons between 15 and 34 years of age, and was the second leading cause for those 35-44 years of age. The median age at death for suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons over this period was 28.4 years, compared with 45.1 years in the non-Indigenous population. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females had a lower median age at death than males (26.9 years for females compared with 29.0 years for males).

The graph below presents age-specific death rates by Indigenous status for the five-year period from 2011 to 2015. The graph shows the particularly high age-specific suicide rates among younger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, with rates between two and four times those of non-Indigenous Australians in age groups between 15 and 44. In contrast, those aged 55 years and over recorded lower age-specific suicide rates than the non-Indigenous population.

Graph Image for Age-specific death rates for Intentional self-harm, by Indigenous status, 2011-2015 (a)(b)(c)(d)

Footnote(s): (a) Age-specific death rate. Deaths per 100,000 of estimated mid-year population for each age group. See Glossary for further information. (b) Includes ICD-10 codes X60-X84 and Y87.0. Care needs to be taken in interpreting figures relating to suicide. See Explanatory Notes 85-93. (c) Data are reported by jurisdiction of usual residence for NSW, Qld, WA, SA and the NT only. Data for Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory have been excluded in line with national reporting guidelines. For information on issues with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identification, see Explanatory Notes 56-66. (d) All causes of death data from 2006 onward are subject to a revisions process - once data for a reference year are 'final', they are no longer revised. Affected data in this table are: 2006-2012 (final), 2013 (revised), 2014-2015 (preliminary). See Explanatory Notes 52-55 and A More Timely Annual Collection: Changes to ABS Processes (Technical Note) in this publication. See also Causes of Death Revisions, 2012 and 2013 (Technical Note) in Causes of Death, Australia, 2014 (cat. no. 3303.0).

Source(s): Age-specific death rates for Intentional self-harm, by Indigenous status, 2011-2015 (a)(b)(c)(d)-Age-specific suicide rates by Indigenous status, 2011-2015



Suicide deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people

For the purposes of the following analysis, children and young people are defined as those aged between 5 and 17 years of age. In 2015, suicide was the leading cause of death for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous children and young people.

Over the 5 years from 2011 to 2015, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people accounted for more than a quarter of all suicide deaths in this age group (85 of the 317 deaths, 26.8%). The age-specific death rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people was 9.3 deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to 1.8 per 100,000 for non-Indigenous persons.

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