Suffolk hospital admissions for self harming youngsters nearly double in five years

The rate of young people attending hospital as a result of self harm has soared in the last five yea

The rate of young people attending hospital as a result of self harm has soared in the last five years in Suffolk Picture: GREGG BROWN

The rate of youngsters being admitted to hospital as a result of self harm in Suffolk has nearly doubled in the last five years, new data has revealed.

Figures published by the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing board showed that between 2016 and 2018 the rate of admission was 214.5 per 100,000 youngsters – above the national average of 211.6 and well above the 127.4 seen in 2012/13.

In August The Children’s Society reported that one in six youngsters reported self harming in a survey of more than 11,000 across the country.

A spokeswoman on behalf of Suffolk County Council, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and the Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups, said: “Our priority is for children and young people in Suffolk to have the best start in life and enjoy good mental health so that they can achieve their full potential.

“Earlier this year, a new emotional wellbeing hub was launched in Suffolk. The hub is one of the first of its kind in the country and offers a single point of access mental health and wellbeing support specifically for those aged up to 25 years, and their families.”

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“CCGs within Suffolk are currently developing their plans for what mental health services and emotional wellbeing support will look like going forward.

“As well as commissioning and delivering sufficient and high quality mental health services, the community around a child or young person, their school and families also need to be supported to help ensure we have emotionally resilient children and young people.”

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When a youngster is presented at hospital with self harm injuries, a mental health assessment is taken while they are in A&E, with a second assessment happening if they stay on a ward overnight.

The hospital then works with the mental health trust and community care to transfer them for ongoing support.

Other projects include those by Healthwatch Suffolk working alongside more than 14,000 youngsters, clinical psychologists working with the county council’s early help and social care team and a trial at Thurston Community College to support emotional wellbeing with students.

More information on support and services is available online here.

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