Extent of self-harm behaviour presenting to Queensland ED with mental health problems

Grant ID: EMJS-382R35-2021-PELLATT

Project Summary

In 2018, there were 3046 deaths by suicide in Australia. Suicide was the leading cause of death among people age 15-44 in 2016-2018. In Queensland, rates remain highest in young men, particularly in rural areas.

The emergency department (ED) can be the only option for people in a mental health crisis. Presentations with self-harm and attempted suicide are recognised high-risk events for subsequent suicide.

This data-linkage study is the first of its kind in Queensland, examining ED presentations with self-harm between 2012 and 2017, utilising data from a collaboration examining broader mental health presentations. This ED data will be ‘linked’ to inpatient admissions and death records, allowing insight into the patient journey over several years.

Aligning with national and international calls to make suicide and self-harm a priority for research and policy innovation, the study will examine the demographics, co-morbidities and characteristics of these patients, and factors predictive of hospital admission to improve care and recognition around those presenting to ED with self-harm.



- Pellatt, R.A.F., The risk of repeated intentional self-harm and suicide after emergency department presentations for self-harm in Queensland: a retrospective cohort study with data linkage. ACEM Annual Scientific Meeting, Canberra, Australia, 20th November 2023.


Amount Awarded


Grant Scheme


Principal Investigator:
Dr Richard Pellatt

Co Investigators:
Prof Julia Crilly OAM
Prof Gerben Keijzers
Dr Kairi Kolves
Dr David Painter

Associate Investigators:
Dr Jesse Young
Dr Ed Heffernan
Prof Stuart Kinner


Collaborating Institutions

CONTACT US +61 7 3720 5700 info@emfoundation.org.au Suite 1B, Terraces, 19 Lang Parade, Milton Qld 4064