Understanding Deliberate Self Harm 2015

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The Northern Ireland Registry of Deliberate Self-Harm was established as an outcome of the Northern Ireland Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan – Protect Life, beginning in the Western Health and Social Care Trust area. Aims: The study aimed to establish the incidence of hospital-treated deliberate self harm in the Western Area of Northern Ireland, and to explore the profile of such presentations. Method: Deliberate self-harm presentations made to the three hospital emergency departments operating in the area during the period 2007–2012 were recorded. Results: There were 8,175 deliberate self-harm presentations by 4,733 individuals. Respectively, the total, male, and female age-standardized incidence rate was 342, 320, and 366 per 100,000 population. City council residents had a far higher self-harm rate.

The peak rate for women was among 15–19-year-olds (837 per 100,000) and for men was among 20–24-year-olds (809 per 100,000). Risk of repetition was higher in 35–44-year-old patients if self-cutting was involved, but was most strongly associated with the number of previous self harm presentations. Conclusion: The incidence of hospital-treated self-harm in Northern Ireland is far higher than in the Republic of Ireland and more comparable to that in England.

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