Ambulance records can help monitor self-harm and suicide

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Ambulance records provide unique and timely monitoring of acute self-harm and suicide and cover more than 90 per cent of Australia’s population, say Australian researchers. Using data from the National Ambulance Surveillance System the researchers found a noticeable difference in the rates of specific types of self-harm across the states, with higher rates in Queensland than NSW or Victoria. The researchers say this data also includes information on mental health diagnoses and substance use disorders so it can inform the development and evaluation of suicide prevention and early intervention efforts, including identifying at-risk groups.

Journal/conference: PLOS ONE

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236344

Organisation/s: Monash University, Ambulance Victoria, Queensland Ambulance Service, New South Wales Ambulance, Ambulance Tasmania, St John Ambulance Australia (NT), Australian Capital Territory Ambulance Service

Funder: This work was supported by funding from the Commonwealth Department of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services (Victoria), Beyond Blue and Movember. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript

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