HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

Intentional self-harm: hospitalisations

Females, All ages, All LHDs
114.3 (110.9, 117.8)Females, 15-24, All LHDs
326 (310.1, 342.6)Females, All ages, Far West
268.7 (183.5, 379.2)Females, 15-24, Far West
399.9 (146.7, 870.3)Females, All ages, Western NSW
123.9 (105, 145.3)Females, 15-24, Western NSW
377.7 (290.2, 483.3)Females, All ages, Murrumbidgee
191.5 (165.5, 220.4)Females, 15-24, Murrumbidgee
585.1 (464.6, 727.3)Females, All ages, Southern NSW
191.7 (163.4, 223.4)Females, 15-24, Southern NSW
683.9 (535.7, 860.2)Females, All ages, Mid North Coast
177.8 (150.6, 208.2)Females, 15-24, Mid North Coast
478.7 (358.8, 625.5)Females, All ages, Northern NSW
181.8 (158.6, 207.3)Females, 15-24, Northern NSW
511.8 (403.3, 640.4)Females, All ages, Hunter New England
192.9 (179.6, 206.8)Females, 15-24, Hunter New England
525.1 (466.1, 589.5)Females, All ages, Central Coast
143.5 (124.9, 164)Females, 15-24, Central Coast
326.3 (251.3, 416.7)Females, All ages, Northern Sydney
96.9 (87.8, 106.7)Females, 15-24, Northern Sydney
375.8 (325.9, 431.1)Females, All ages, Nepean Blue Mountains
129.4 (113.2, 147.3)Females, 15-24, Nepean Blue Mountains
345.1 (274.1, 429)Females, All ages, Western Sydney
69.6 (62.3, 77.6)Females, 15-24, Western Sydney
209.1 (174.5, 248.5)Females, All ages, Illawarra Shoalhaven
143.3 (126.4, 161.7)Females, 15-24, Illawarra Shoalhaven
456.9 (376.2, 549.8)Females, All ages, South Eastern Sydney
86 (77.5, 95.2)Females, 15-24, South Eastern Sydney
254.6 (213.4, 301.4)Females, All ages, South Western Sydney
70.6 (63.4, 78.5)Females, 15-24, South Western Sydney
150.3 (122.2, 182.8)Females, All ages, Sydney
86.7 (76.8, 97.5)Females, 15-24, Sydney
233.2 (187, 286.9)Males, 15-24, All LHDs
130.6 (121.1, 140.8)Males, All ages, All LHDs
67.9 (65.4, 70.6)Males, 15-24, Far West
229.5 (62.5, 587.6)Males, All ages, Far West
176.6 (109, 270.5)Males, 15-24, Western NSW
230.6 (164.7, 314)Males, All ages, Western NSW
96 (79.3, 115.1)Males, 15-24, Murrumbidgee
160.1 (102.5, 238.2)Males, All ages, Murrumbidgee
102 (83.4, 123.6)Males, 15-24, Southern NSW
187.6 (116, 287)Males, All ages, Southern NSW
95.5 (75.8, 118.7)Males, 15-24, Mid North Coast
281 (189.1, 401.8)Males, All ages, Mid North Coast
136.8 (112.4, 164.7)Males, 15-24, Northern NSW
222.7 (155.7, 308.8)Males, All ages, Northern NSW
99.8 (82.7, 119.1)Males, 15-24, Hunter New England
230.4 (193, 272.8)Males, All ages, Hunter New England
99 (89.8, 109)Males, 15-24, Central Coast
170.7 (118.9, 237.4)Males, All ages, Central Coast
95.8 (80.8, 112.7)Males, 15-24, Northern Sydney
111.6 (85.7, 142.8)Males, All ages, Northern Sydney
42 (36.1, 48.5)Males, 15-24, Nepean Blue Mountains
107.6 (70.9, 156.6)Males, All ages, Nepean Blue Mountains
68.2 (56.6, 81.5)Males, 15-24, Western Sydney
87.3 (66.4, 112.7)Males, All ages, Western Sydney
42.3 (36.8, 48.4)Males, 15-24, Illawarra Shoalhaven
138.6 (97.5, 191.1)Males, All ages, Illawarra Shoalhaven
78.7 (66.4, 92.5)Males, 15-24, South Eastern Sydney
124.3 (97.6, 155.9)Males, All ages, South Eastern Sydney
64.4 (57.4, 72.1)Males, 15-24, South Western Sydney
87.1 (66.6, 111.8)Males, All ages, South Western Sydney
51.4 (45.2, 58.2)Males, 15-24, Sydney
77.3 (52.2, 109.9)Males, All ages, Sydney
45 (38.1, 52.7)
  • + 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.

    Patients treated solely within the emergency department are excluded from this indicator report due to a policy change (PD2017_015). 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:

    Data for some Local Health Districts (LHDs) may not be included individually due to low numbers. All LHDs includes these LHDs where numbers are low, and records where the LHD was missing or not stated. Albury Local Government Area (LGA) is included in All LHDs.

    Local Health District population projections based on pre-2016 Census Estimated Resident Populations have been used in this report (see methods tab for more detail).

    LL/UL 95%CI = lower and upper limits of the 95% confidence interval for the point estimate.

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  • + Methods
  • + Codes
    • Codes: Intentional self harm: 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-10 & ICD-10-AMComments
      Intentional self-harm X60-X84, Y87.0 in first External Cause Code

      All records are included for NSW residents only. Records involving rehabilitation are excluded.

      Episodes that are entirely within an emergency department are excluded.

      Records relating to acute hospital transfer and statistical discharge are excluded.

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

      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

      • 17.7% of adults aged 16 years and over (15.7% of men and 19.5% of women) experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, as estimated from the 2019 NSW Adult Population Health Survey (self-reported using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing or CATI). 

      • 12.8% of adults aged 18 years and over (11.8% of males and 13.8% of females) in NSW experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, as estimated from the 2017-18 Australian Health Survey (interviewer-administered questionnaire).

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

      • In 2018-19, there were 7,018 hospitalisations of NSW residents for intentional self-harm. Females accounted for 62% 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: Monday, 24 August 2020