The authors explore the factors that contribute to the difficulties in obtaining accurate and current data that reflects suicide and intentional self harm rates. The increase in underreporting as a result of inconsistencies in data collation, a lack of a central authority for producing mortality data and the stigma associated with suicide are some of the issues raised.
Developing effective public health policy is partly dependent on the accuracy of collated data, including statistics, that reflect the prevalence of behaviours and outcomes and their impact on our nation. Without accurate data the development of appropriate suicide prevention strategies, targeted research and the addressing of social attitudes becomes difficult.
Recommendations are provided on what is needed to improve reporting processes, thereby increasing the overall efficiency of public health policy in addressing suicide and self harm concerns.
An abstract of the article is attached with details on how to access the complete article.
This Blog is co-authored by members of the Lifeboat team, supported by the latest research and news in suicide prevention, policy and strategy.