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Intentional self-harm among emergency services personnel in Australia

Released October 2019
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deaths 2001-2016
deaths per year on average
were aged 31-50 years


There are over 105,000 emergency services personnel employed in an operational or non-operational capacity across the police, ambulance and fire services throughout Australia.

Emergency services personnel work to protect the safety of the community. This work involves routine exposure to stress and trauma.

There were 197 intentional self-harm deaths of current or former police, ambulance and fire services employees reported to a coroner from 2001 to 2016. When compared by service type, 60.9% of these deaths were of police employees, 20.8% were of ambulance employees, and 18.3% were of fire service employees.

This is an update of a previous NCIS fact sheet published in 2015.

Data sources

The data was obtained from the NCIS in May 2019. The data set contained every fatality of a person identified as a current or former employee of the police, ambulance or fire service reported to an Australian coroner between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2016 that was coded as resulting from an act of intentional self-harm, and where the coronial investigation had concluded. Population data was sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Beyond Blue and the Commonwealth of Australia Senate. See explanatory notes for information on data sources and limitations. For further data, request a data report.

Reporting on suicide

Any reproduction or reporting on this fact sheet or the data contained within it should be aligned with the guidelines provided by Mindframe regarding reporting of suicide.


Content is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), unless otherwise stated. Attribution must be provided to the National Coronial Information System (NCIS).

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