Dr Wyder hopes the study gives counsellors and health professionals, as well as families, friends and loved ones, an insight into the complex set of risk factors and motives behind self-harming behaviour.
"It's important to understand the differences between those who attempt and those who die by suicide. Suicide and attempted suicide all share intentional or deliberate self-harming characteristics, but differ in the outcome," she says.
"These findings will contribute to the NSW Health framework for suicide risk assessment and management - helping to alleviate the immediate stress felt by patients, and providing help for the underlying factors once the suicidal feelings subside.
"The majority of people who attempt to harm themselves don't want to end their life, they just want a better life. If we're able to support both groups with more appropriate strategies, we may be able to lessen some of their pain."
Contact: Amanda Whibley