AIHW launch Turning Point and Monash University National Ambulance Surveillance (NASS) data as part of national suicide and self-harm monitoring project

29 Sep 2020

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) have launched the National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring Project that includes new national data from state and territory ambulance services attained through Turning Point and Monash University’s National Ambulance Surveillance System (NASS).


Turning Point and Monash University are delighted to be involved in this internationally unique project through the provision of rich ambulance data related to the context and pattern of self-harm, as well as related mental health and alcohol and drug harms.

The National Ambulance Surveillance System (NASS), a novel and world-first public health monitoring system for mental health, alcohol and drug harms, and self-harm, is a partnership between Turning Point, Monash University, Eastern Health and jurisdictional ambulance services across Australia, drawing on the vital and life-saving work paramedics do every day responding to health emergencies across the community. Turning Point staff code information gathered from paramedic attendances across the country to inform suicide and self-harm prevention strategies.

Professor Dan Lubman, Director of Turning Point and the Monash Addiction Research Centre, said ‘We are so proud to be able to leverage the critical work that paramedics do everyday in our community, by providing unique data that informs national suicide strategies and responses.’

‘The data is timely in providing state and federal governments with key information that will help shape their responses to growing community concerns around mental health, alcohol and drug harms and suicide as a result of COVID-19’, he said.

The NASS data will be used as part of the National Suicide and Self-harm Monitoring Project, enabling governments, services and communities to better respond through policy development and service planning, and by enabling the identification of trends, emerging areas of concern and priority groups.

A lack of national ambulance attendance data has been a significant gap in service-level data for populations at risk of suicide. This presents a wonderful opportunity for Turning Point and Monash University to contribute and improve nationally consistent data on ambulance attendances to self-harm and mental health-related incidents that deliver effective public health responses and help save lives.