Australian self-harm and suicide rates are among the highest in the developed world.
It only just trails behind the UK, where more than 12,000 children were admitted to hospital after attempting to harm themselves last year, including a startling 400 toddlers, one of which was a three-year-old boy who deliberately overdosed on paracetamol.
In 2012, the Kids Helpline responded to 15,887 contacts by children and young people aged 5 to 25 who were assessed to have self-injury and self-harming behaviours, the Australian Human Rights Commission reports.
“Each year the lives of too many of our children and young people are lost. The impact of intentional self-harm on children and young people is felt all through the community and leaves a lasting legacy of grief, loss, disability and poor health,” the report continues.
A report released by the Young and Well Cooperative in 2013, Growing Up Queer,identifies intentional self-harm and suicide as an issue for gender variant and sexuality diverse children and young people. 1,032 children and young people aged 16 to 23 years participated in an online national survey as part of this report. 41% of participants had thought about self-harm and/or suicide, 33% had harmed themselves, and 16% had attempted suicide.
And according to 2012 Australian Bureau of Statistics data, Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander males and females aged 15 to 24 are 5.2 times more likely to die by suicide than other children and young people in the same age bracket.
Further modern day complications such as social media and the digital age have furthered scope for bullying and intimidation, and will also be investigated as part of the report.