Suicide and self-harm in immigration detention

Louise K Newman, Nicholas G Procter and Michael J Dudley
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.10993
Published online: 19 September 2011

Time to examine a system harming the health of both detainees and detention centre staff

On 29 July this year, Commonwealth Ombudsman Allan Asher confirmed that his office would undertake an investigation into suicide and self-harm in Australian immigration detention facilities.1 The investigation will examine rates of suicide and self-harm relative to those in the broader Australian community, and factors such as length of time in detention and the design of mental health services for detainees.

  • 1 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA.
  • 3 University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

Louise Newman is Chair of the Detention Health Advisory Group (DeHAG), providing independent advice to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and Convenor of the Alliance of Health Professionals for Asylum Seekers. Nicholas Procter is a member of the DeHAG Mental Health Subgroup and Council for Immigration Services and Status Resolution. Michael Dudley is a member of the DeHAG Mental Health Subgroup and Chair of Suicide Prevention Australia.


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