AUSTRALIA: Suicide Prevention Australia calls for action after women’s self-harm rates surge

August 21, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Sydney Morning Herald

An Australian suicide prevention group is bringing attention to a recent rise in serious self-injury among women. The number of women hospitalized for self-harm has increased by 50 percent since 2000. In its discussion paper on the topic, Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) notes that while men are still at higher risk for suicide than women, suicide rates among young men in Australia have fallen since 1997, while young women’s suicides have not decreased. “The substantial attention on suicide prevention for men reflects the high importance of this pressing global issue,” the report says. “However, given the large swing in the size of the health burden towards women when suicide mortality and morbidity are combined, it would seem both reasonable and sensible to focus also on understanding and preventing women’s suicidal behavior.” Sue Murray, SPA chief executive, said that more research is needed to understand when self-harm indicates increased risk for suicide. “The majority of people who self-harm do not go on to take their own lives, and the problem is we don’t know which ones will,” she said. 

Spark Extra! Read Suicide Prevention Australia’s report on Suicide and Suicidal Behavior in Women – Issues and Prevention.