Non-fatal deliberate self-harm in three remote Indigenous communities in far north Queensland, Australia

Non-fatal deliberate self-harm in three remote Indigenous communities in far north Queensland, Australia Journal Article

Crisis

  • Author(s): Chris Rouen, Alan R. Clough, Caryn West
  • Published: 2019

Abstract: Background: Indigenous Australians experience a suicide rate over twice that of the general population. With nonfatal deliberate self-harm (DSH) being the single most important risk factor for suicide, characterizing the incidence and repetition of DSH in this population is essential. Aims: To investigate the incidence and repetition of DSH in three remote Indigenous communities in Far North Queensland, Australia. Method: DSH presentation data at a primary health-care center in each community were analyzed over a 6-year period from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2011. Results: A DSH presentation rate of 1,638 per 100,000 population was found within the communities. Rates were higher in age groups 15–24 and 25–34, varied between communities, and were not significantly different between genders; 60% of DSH repetitions occurred within 6 months of an earlier episode. Of the 227 DSH presentations, 32% involved hanging. Limitations: This study was based on a subset of a larger dataset not specifically designed for DSH data collection and assesses the subset of the communities that presented to the primary health-care centers. Conclusion: A dedicated DSH monitoring study is required to provide a better understanding of DSH in these communities and to inform early intervention strategies.

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Suggested Citation
Chris Rouen, Alan R. Clough, Caryn West, 2019, Non-fatal deliberate self-harm in three remote Indigenous communities in far north Queensland, Australia, Journal Article, viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14886.

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