Sunday 10 October is World Mental Health Day, an initiative to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilise support efforts.

The NCIS is a valuable data collection that supports the development of death and injury prevention strategies by providing access to coronial data for death investigation and research.

A new fact sheet has been released by the NCIS Unit today highlighting the frequency of intentional self-harm deaths of health professionals in Australia.

The fact sheet, Intentional self-harm deaths of health professionals in Australia, examines all closed case intentional self-harm deaths reported to an Australian coroner between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2018 where the person was employed as a health professional at the time of their death.

The fact sheet reviewed the circumstances of 619 deaths reported in Australia and made a number of key findings, including:

  • The highest proportions of health professional intentional self-harm deaths were reported to coroners in New South Wales (32.0%) and Victoria (24.7%).
  • The majority of deaths were midwifery and nursing professionals (57.8%, n=358). More than one fifth were medical practitioners (24.1%, n=149).
  • Females comprised the majority of health professional intentional self-harm deaths (56.4%, n=349). By contrast, females comprised only 16.3% of intentional self-harm deaths among all employed persons.
  • Pharmaceutical drug toxicity was the most common mechanism of injury among health professional intentional self-harm deaths (43.0%) and was nearly five times as common as among intentional self-harm deaths of employed persons generally (8.9%).

View NCIS fact sheets

Other NCIS resources

NCIS Fatal facts is a unique tool that allows public access to Australian coronial recommendations. Users can search the tool by a variety of category tags. A search using the intentional self-harm category can identify summaries of relevant deaths and associated coronial recommendations made to improve public health and safety.

A variety of organisations use NCIS data to conduct research into intentional self-harm deaths. Links to relevant research publications are available on the NCIS website.

Explore suicide fatality research