Figures show increase in self-harm among young people

10% of adolescents who had self-harmed went to hospital

Figures show increase in self-harm among young people

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New figures show an increase in self-harm among young people.

Pieta House says that it is now providing support for people as young as 8 years old. It comes as a conference will be held on the matter in Dublin this week. 

Organisers say the conference will offer a mix of practical workshops and presentations relevant to teaching staff, community workers, parents and students.

CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services said "The increase in rates of self-harm among adolescents over the last number of years is worrying and yet we’re just not talking about it as a society."

Dr Paul Surgenor, director of research with Pieta House said "The figures from the National Research Foundation are alarming but what is even more concerning is the fact that these figures are only based on hospital presentations."

It has been estimated that only 10% of adolescents who had self-harmed had actually presented to hospital.

Surgenor continued saying "We hope that the conference on 1 March will give parents and carers the skills and confidence to initiate the conversation and support their young people in the move from self-harm to self-care."

Striking pattern 

According to the latest 2015 findings from the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland, there was a striking pattern in the incidence of self-harm when examined by age. The rate was highest among the young.

At 718 per 100,000, the peak rate for women was among 15-19 year-olds. This rate implies that one in every 139 girls in this age group presented to hospital in 2015 as a consequence of self-harm.

The peak rate for men was 553 per 100,000 among 20-24 year-olds or one in every 181 men.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of all self-harm presentations involved an overdose of medication.