The mental health of Australians 2

8.3 Impact of suicidality

Page last updated: May 2009

8.3.1 Days out of role
8.3.2 Psychological distress

8.3.1 Days out of role

On average, people reporting any form of suicidality in the previous 12 months experienced 6.7 days out of role in the 30 days prior to interview (table 8-6). People who made suicide plans or suicide attempts reported approximately four times more days out of role than the general population (8.2 days and 8.5 days compared to 1.9 days).

Table 8-6: Days out of role by 12-month suicidality

Table 8-6 is presented as a list in this HTML version for accessibility reasons. It is presented as a table in the PDF version.

Days out of role in the previous 30 days (mean) by suicidality:
  • Suicidal ideation - 6.6
  • Suicide plans - 8.2
  • Suicide attempts - 8.5
  • Any suicidality - 6.7

Note: Any suicidality is lower than the sum as people reporting more than one type of suicidality were more likely to have higher days out of role.

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8.3.2 Psychological distress

The proportion of people with each type of suicidality, who reported each of the four levels of psychological distress, as measured by the Kessler 10 scale (K10), is presented in table 8-7.

Nearly two thirds (64.0%) of people who reported suicidality in the previous 12-months experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress in the 30 days prior to interview. Psychological distress was high to very high for 65.2% of people with suicidal ideation, 71.2% of people who made a suicide plan and 69.6% of those who attempted suicide.

Table 8-7: Proportion of people with each psychological distress (K10) level by type of suicidality

Suicidality Low (%)Moderate (%)High (%)Very High (%)
Suicidal ideation
Suicide plan
Suicide attempt
Any suicidality

np Not available for publication, but included in totals where applicable.