Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 24(3) July 2011 : 92-92.doi:10.12927/hcq.2011.22496

Health Indicators 2011

  • In 2009–2010, approximately 17,500 Canadians—or 45 people a day—were admitted to hospital after attempting suicide or deliberately harming themselves
  • In 2009–2010, the most common method of self-injury leading to hospitalization was poisoning (85%), followed by cutting or piercing (10%) and strangulation (2%).
  • Young women age 15 to 19 were the most likely to self-injure. Women in this age group had a self-injury hospitalization rate of more than double the rate of men in the same age category.
  • Men were three times more likely to die from self-inflicted injuries. In 2007, 16 per 100,000 men died from self-inflicted injuries, compared with 5 per 100,000 women.
  • Rates of self-injury varied across the country and were higher in the territories than in the provinces.
  • For 70% of self-injury hospitalizations, the patient also had a diagnosis of mental illness. Mood disorders accounted for almost one-quarter of these diagnoses, followed by substance-related disorders and anxiety disorders.
  • In 2009–2010, about one in nine hospitalizations for a mental illness was followed by a readmission within 30 days of discharge.
  • Two out of five mental health readmissions occurred within seven days, and almost two-thirds took place within 14 days of discharge.
  • Readmission was more likely when the initial hospitalization was for schizophrenia or a personality disorder than when it was for an anxiety disorder.
  • In the regions where comprehensive emergency department data was available, at least 70% of readmissions were preceded by an emergency department visit.
  • In 2008–2009, approximately one in nine mental health inpatients was hospitalized three or more times within a 12-month period. These patients accounted for 28% of all mental health hospitalizations and 27% of the total number of patient days.


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