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Suicide attempts in New Zealand and Australia 

Suicide attempts in New Zealand and Australia
Suicide attempts in New Zealand and Australia

Jane Pirkis

, Annette Beautrais

, and Tony Durkee

Page of

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date: 21 May 2022

New Zealand and Australia both have national suicide prevention strategies in place. Initially, the prevention activities delivered through these strategies focused on completed suicide only. More recently, there has been an acknowledgement that suicidal behaviours occur on a gradient and attempted suicide is a significant problem in its own right. It is estimated that for every completed suicide, there are approximately fifty suicide attempts carried out by females and ten by males.

In both countries, suicide attempts are the highest among young people, however, national population-based surveys suggest that, overall, nearly 0.5 per cent of the adult population makes a suicide attempt in a given year. It is evident suicide attempts are a major public health problem and must be addressed accordingly. This chapter examines the epidemiology of suicide attempts in the two countries, drawing on hospitalization data and data from population-based surveys and commenting on how the findings can inform prevention activities.

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