As part of the Kimberley Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Trial, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS) engaged the University of Western Australia to collate available suicide and self-harm data for the Kimberley region.

Key Findings:

  • Over an 18-month period (July 2017 – December 2018), the Emergency Department attendance for self-harm in the Kimberley was three times the rate for Western Australia, excluding the Kimberley. In the Kimberley, the majority (81%) of those who presented for self-harm were Indigenous people. Self-harm presentations were more common in females, and among young people.
  • The number and age-adjusted rates of suicide of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the Kimberley over two 5-year periods until 2017 showed that approximately 70% of suicides in the Kimberley were Indigenous people.
  • To ensure the collection of data is accurate, human services staff across the Kimberley should be appropriately trained to capture and report on self harm and suicidal behaviours. This will improve data collection and compilation from multiple sources to identify the cumulative risk of self-harm and suicide.
  • The suicide rate among Indigenous peoples in the Kimberley is twice as high as the suicide rate among Indigenous Australians overall. It also shows the total suicide rate (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) in the Kimberley is more than three times higher than in the rest of Australia.
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