Number of East Yorkshire school children treated for self-harm doubles in two years

Published: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by KCFM

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The number of school children in East Yorkshire being treated for self-harm injuries has nearly doubled in two years.

Last year 103 young people under the age of 16 sought help for self-harm, compared to 52 in 012/13.

Nationally, the number of children self-harming in England has risen three-fold in the last decade.

Chief executive of Hull and East Yorkshire Mind David Smith told KCFM that the rise could be due to increased public awareness, but services need to be in place locally to deal with the increase:

“Different conditions are becoming easier to talk about. There’s been quite a bit in the media recently surrounding self-harm, and that could be part of the reason why more people are coming forward and asking for help.

“For those young people who are developing mental health conditions, we need to have the resources locally.

“You shouldn’t be having to go to a psyhchiatric hospital if you’re experiencing a mild or moderate mental health condition. We should be able to deal with that in the community.

“We struggle with that a little bit locally- we need to get some more services on the ground that are very easy for people to get into.

“Services need to be available quickly- and at the appropriate level- to give people the support they need to stay well and get well.”

He added that early intervention is vital to get young sufferers the help they need:

“If we can support somebody who is in their early teens, the impact on their life is so much more significant than if we intervene when they’re in their twenties, thirties or forties. It’s more effective, it’s cheaper, it’s often a lot easier as well, so it makes sense on every level.”

In a joint statement, Hull and East Riding’s Clinical Commissioning Groups said:

“We have seen a rise in self-harm in the Hull and East Riding area. To put this rise into context there has been a threefold increase in the number of teenagers who self-harm in England in the last decade (World Health Organisation).

“Any incidence of self-harm in a young person is distressing. We are working jointly with the Hull/East Riding Safeguarding Boards to look at the increase, to get a better understanding of why this may be the case, and how mental health services for young people can respond flexibly to deal with the rise and ensure children and young people in the East Riding/Hull receive the most appropriate care and support.

“The CCGs will also be working closely with Public Health colleagues to provide a greater public understanding of the reasons why someone might self-harm and how to get help.

“A number of young people in Hull are also supported by the Headstart Hull project which is a pilot project primarily aimed at preventing common mental health issues, including the use of self-harm as a way of dealing with the problems and pressures of everyday life. Headstart Hull works with schools and across the community to offer young people the support and skills to cope with adversity and do well in school and in life.”

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Published: Wednesday 10th June 2015 by KCFM

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