Exploring self-harm in young people in Warwickshire

Self-harm is a term used to describe the act of somebody intentionally causing injury or damage to themselves.

The UK has the highest rates of self-harm in Europe, with around 400 in 100,000 people reported as having self-harmed[1].  In addition to this, evidence suggests that self-harm rates are increasing.  There are reports of rates of self-injury (where somebody causes damage to their skin) quadrupling over a ten year period[2].

Warwickshire currently has a higher rate of self-harm than the UK (430.5 per 100,000 hospital admissions for self-harm in 10-24 year olds compared to 398.8 in England[3]).  Despite an increase in research into drivers and motivators of self-harm, the varied profile of Warwickshire (rural and urban areas with a varied socio-economic profile) means it is difficult to ascertain an overarching driver for this elevated rate.

During the development of Warwickshire’s Suicide Prevention Strategy, it was highlighted that a deeper look into local self-harm was required.  Self-harm is the strongest predictor of suicide with evidence suggesting that it increases the probability of someone dying by suicide by 50-100 times in the 12 months following[4]. In addition to this, it is widely recognised that there are a wide range of drivers and motivators for self-harm, not all of which correspond to suicide, and that these may require a different approach.  This needs assessment aims to investigate these further.

This needs assessment also aims to help better understand the needs of the young people (0-25 years old) in Warwickshire who self-harm.  It looks at the services currently available to those young people and makes recommendations on how to improve them based on current evidence and consultation with a range of stakeholders (including those with lived experience).

The Self-Harm Needs Assessment is available by clicking on the link below:

Exploring self-harm in young people in Warwickshire JSNA (PDF, 1.0 MB)

For more information, please contact insight@warwickshire.gov.uk


[1] Mental Health Foundation – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/self-harm

[2] Based on figures taken from Hospital Episode Statistics and the Health and Social Care Information Centre

[3] PHE Fingertips. Available at: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/search/self%20harm#page/0/gid/1/pat/6/par/E12000005/ati/102/are/E08000025

[4] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Self-harm pathway 2016 [cited 2016 24 January]. Available from: http://pathways.nice.org.uk/pathways/self-harm#content=view-index

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