Year: 2010 Source: MJA, v.192, no.8, (April 19, 2010), p.452-456 SIEC No: 20100346

Accurate statistics are vital for appropriately targeted prevention strategies & research, costing of suicide, & to combat associated stigma. Underreporting of Australian suicide rates probably grew from 2002-2006. Systemic reasons for undercounting include absence of a central authority for producing mortality data; inconsistent coronial process for determining intent; collection & coding methods that are problematic for data stakeholders; & lack of systemic resourcing, training, & shared expertise. Revision of data after coronial case closure, beginning with Australian Bureau of Statistics deaths registered in 2007, is planned & will reduce undercounting. Social stigma about suicide & self-harm must be addressed if widespread underreporting is to stop. (32 refs.)