HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Intentional self-harm: hospitalisations

Males, 15-24 years, 2016-17
132.2Males, 15-24 years, 2015-16
136.6Males, 15-24 years, 2014-15
124.7Males, 15-24 years, 2013-14
124.6Males, 15-24 years, 2012-13
116.5Males, 15-24 years, 2011-12
98.9Males, 15-24 years, 2010-11
96.5Males, 15-24 years, 2009-10
96.6Males, 15-24 years, 2008-09
84.5Males, 15-24 years, 2007-08
103.2Males, 15-24 years, 2006-07
99.1Males, 15-24 years, 2005-06
98.1Males, 15-24 years, 2004-05
92.4Males, 15-24 years, 2003-04
100.6Males, 15-24 years, 2002-03
82.5Males, 15-24 years, 2001-02
87Males, All ages, 2016-17
80.8Males, All ages, 2015-16
79.1Males, All ages, 2014-15
77Males, All ages, 2013-14
73Males, All ages, 2012-13
70Males, All ages, 2011-12
62.9Males, All ages, 2010-11
62.7Males, All ages, 2009-10
65Males, All ages, 2008-09
62.2Males, All ages, 2007-08
70.3Males, All ages, 2006-07
68Males, All ages, 2005-06
66.4Males, All ages, 2004-05
61Males, All ages, 2003-04
62Males, All ages, 2002-03
59.5Males, All ages, 2001-02
61.7Females, 15-24 years, 2016-17
367.7Females, 15-24 years, 2015-16
354.4Females, 15-24 years, 2014-15
341.6Females, 15-24 years, 2013-14
343.4Females, 15-24 years, 2012-13
309.1Females, 15-24 years, 2011-12
263.9Females, 15-24 years, 2010-11
226.3Females, 15-24 years, 2009-10
236.2Females, 15-24 years, 2008-09
211.1Females, 15-24 years, 2007-08
211Females, 15-24 years, 2006-07
234.4Females, 15-24 years, 2005-06
222.9Females, 15-24 years, 2004-05
225.1Females, 15-24 years, 2003-04
208Females, 15-24 years, 2002-03
189.5Females, 15-24 years, 2001-02
181.2Females, All ages, 2016-17
134.9Females, All ages, 2015-16
132.9Females, All ages, 2014-15
128.6Females, All ages, 2013-14
126.7Females, All ages, 2012-13
123Females, All ages, 2011-12
109.4Females, All ages, 2010-11
99Females, All ages, 2009-10
104.6Females, All ages, 2008-09
98.9Females, All ages, 2007-08
100.9Females, All ages, 2006-07
104.9Females, All ages, 2005-06
99.2Females, All ages, 2004-05
92.9Females, All ages, 2003-04
91.6Females, All ages, 2002-03
86.4Females, All ages, 2001-02
  • + Source

    NSW Combined Admitted Patient Epidemiology Data and ABS population estimates (SAPHaRI). Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.

  • + Notes

    Intentional self-harm includes purposely self-inflicted poisoning or injury or attempted suicide with intent based on notes recorded by the treating clinician. This indicator measures people admitted to hospital after self-harm. It is not a direct measure of the number of people in the NSW population who make suicide attempts.  

    Only NSW residents are included. Rehabilitation episodes are excluded. Figures are based on where a person resides, rather than where they are treated. Hospital separations were classified using ICD-10-AM. Rates were age-adjusted using the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.

    A recent policy change (PD2017_015) resulted in patients treated solely within the emergency department being excluded from this indicator report. Please note that a minority of patients being managed in short stay areas of emergency departments are still included. Further information is found in a paper in the HealthStatsPLUS Methods tab on this website. While the volume (number) of admissions counted has decreased as a result of this policy change, the trend remains consistent.

    Numbers for recent years include an estimate of the small number of hospitalisations of NSW residents in interstate public hospitals, data for which were unavailable at the time of production. Further details can be found in the Methods tab in the following HealthStats NSW indicator:

    Hospitalisations for those aged under 10 years are not reported separately due to very small numbers per year, however these are included in the total.

  • + Commentary

    Hospitalisation rates for intentional self-harm are consistently higher in females than in males, while the death rates from suicide are substantially higher in males than in females. This may be related to differences between the sexes in both the intent of the self-harm as well as the methods used for self-harm and suicide.

    In 2016-17, the self-harm hospitalisation rate for females aged 15-24 years (367.7 per 100,000 population) reached its highest point  compared with the previous 15 years and was just under 3 times higher than that for all females. In 2017-18, the rate for females aged 15-24 years decreased to 343.2 per 100,000 population with 1,656 females and 666 males hospitalised for self-harm compared with 4,525 females and 2,710 males of all ages in that year.

    This indicator measures people admitted to hospital after self-harm. It is not a direct measure of the number of people in the NSW population who attempt suicide. This indicator only includes people who are admitted to hospital, and does not include people who were treated solely within the emergency department (ED). Therefore changes in this indicator over time may reflect changes in the number of people who come to hospital seeking help, or the proportion who are admitted for treatment rather than treated solely in the ED.

  • + Data Table
  • + Download
    • Add to My Report
    • Download the indicator content
    • Download the data
    • Download the associated information
    • Download the graph image
  • + Methods
  • + Codes
    • Codes: Intentional self harm: suicide and self-inflicted injury or poisoning

      The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems

      National Centre for Classification in Health, Australia; CM - Clinical Modification; AM - Australian Modification

      DescriptionICD-9 & ICD-9-CMICD-10 & ICD-10-AMComments
      Suicide / Self harm E950-E959 X60-X84, Y87.0 All records are included except those involving rehabilitation, NSW residents only, all ages.

      Episodes that are entirely within an emergency department are excluded.

      Suicide comprises any self-harm with fatal result in this report and it refers to death records labelled: Suicide and self-inflicted injury in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 9 revision (ICD-9) (WHO 1968) and Intentional self-harm in the ICD-10 (WHO 1992).

      Intentional self harm includes suicide (attempted) and purposely self-inflicted poisoning or injury (WHO 1992).

      World Health Organisation. International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 9th revision (ICD-9). Geneva: WHO, 1968.

      World Health Organization. International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10). Geneva: WHO, 1992.

  • + Related Indicators
  • + Associated Information
    • Key points: Mental health

      Latest available information

      Latest available data for adults in NSW

      • 15.1% of adults aged 16 years and over (12.9% of men and 17.3% of women) experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, as estimated from the 2017 NSW Adult Population Health Survey (self-reported using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing or CATI). 

      • 11.0% of adults aged 18 years and over (9.0% of males and 12.5% of females) in NSW experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, as estimated from the 2014-15 Australian Health Survey (interviewer-administered questionnaire).

      • Overall suicide rates dropped in NSW between 1997 and 2007 but has increased since this time. In 2017, 868 people died by suicide and males accounted for around 77.6% of these deaths.

      • In 2017-18, there were 7,236 hospitalisations of NSW residents for intentional self-harm. Females accounted for 63% of these hospitalisations.

      • In 2017, 14.0% of secondary school students reported high levels of psychological distress in the previous six months (9.7% of males and 18.2% of females). The proportion of students reporting high levels of psychological distress has remained stable over the last 3 years (2014 to 2017).

      • Generally, a lower proportion of elderly adults have high levels of psychological distress than the overall adult population in NSW.

      • The least socioeconomically disadvantaged adults had lower levels of psychological distress than the overall adult population in NSW.

      • The proportion of adults reporting high and very high levels of psychological distress has remained fairly stable over the last decade.

    • Introduction: Mental health


      Mental health disorders relate to behaviours and conditions which interfere with social functioning and capacity to negotiate daily life. Mental problems are also associated with higher rates of health risk factors, poorer physical health, and higher rates of deaths from many causes including suicide.

      The classification of mental and behavioural disorders is difficult and warrants close attention to the types of disorders and syndromes which are included and excluded when comparing results from different sources. Further discussion of this issue is contained in the Methods tab.

      Burden of disease of mental conditions in Australia

      Mental ill health is one of the leading causes of non-fatal burden of disease and injury in Australia. Mental ill health was estimated to account for 12% of the disease burden in Australia in 2015, with anxiety and depression, alcohol abuse and personality disorders accounting for almost three-quarters of this burden. Only 2.5% of the burden from mental disorders is due to mortality, most of which is accounted for by fatal outcomes associated with substance abuse (AIHW 2019).


      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019. Australian Burden of Disease Study: Impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015. Australian Burden of Disease Study series no. 19. BOD 22. Canberra: AIHW. Available at:

    • Interventions: Mental health

      NSW has a range of mental health programs covering early intervention, prevention and promotion initiatives in place across the age spectrum. See

    • For more information: Mental health

      Useful websites

      NSW Health at

      Beyondblue at

      Black Dog Institute at

      WayAhead: Mental Health Association NSW at

      Australian Bureau of Statistics at

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at

      healthdirect at

Last Updated At: Tuesday, 25 June 2019