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Uncovering the impact of COVID-19

Nov 10, 2020

IMG 2011 Uncovering the impact of COVID 19 web

A new real time data monitoring system launched by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) is helping to determine if the social and financial impacts of the pandemic have led to an increase in the rate of suicide throughout the country.

The National Suicide and Self-Harm Monitoring System and public website brings together the most comprehensive collation of data to date (including ambulance service data) for suicide deaths and self harm across the eight States and Territories into a single web-based interactive and integrated platform.

The public website includes interactive data visualisations and geospatial mapping to illustrate and explore the current statistics and data sets as well as text to assist with their interpretation.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the AIHW has been collating data weekly on the use of mental health services and on suspected suicides from existing registers and findings include:

  • There is no evidence to date that COVID-19 has been associated with a rise in the rate of suspected deaths by suicide in Australia.
  • In Queensland, the number of deaths by suspected suicides from 1 January to 31 July 2020 (454) was similar to the same period in 2019 (445) and 2017 (456).
  • Increases in the rates of use of mental health services and increases in psychological distress, particularly among young people, have been seen during the pandemic.

You can view the National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring system at www.aihw.gov.au/suicide-self-harm-monitoring. The Brisbane North HealthPathways Suicide Risk pathway is available at www.brisbanenorth.communityhealthpathways.org.

For more information on the PHN’s Reasons to Stay campaign visit reasonstostay.com.au.

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