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Hospital admissions for self harm rise in Bucks

Women were found to be more likely to be admitted than men

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 1:31pm 19th February 2020. 3-minute read.

Hospital admissions for self harm rise in Bucks

Bucks has seen a rise in hospital admissions for self harm.

Public Health England has released data which shows Buckinghamshire reported 750 hospital admissions for self harm in 2018-2019. 

That is an increase of 69 on the previous year, where 681 were recorded. 

The latest figure is more than twice what it was when comparable records began in 2010-11, where Bucks figures stood at 351. 

Bucks was below the average number of cases per 100,000 people in area though at 145, while nationally it stands at 193.

Mental health charity Mind's head of policy and campaigns Vicki Nash said:

"Whatever the reason we end up there, A&E can be a frightening place for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.

"That’s why we want to make sure as many people as possible get the support they need long before they reach that point.

"We also need to take into account the wider social issues such as poor housing, employment issues and financial strain, which can all have a huge impact on our mental health.

“The NHS in England has promised £2.3 billion a year for mental health, but we must see this reach the front line if we are going to see people’s experiences on the ground improve.”

The likelihood of women across England being admitted to hospital for self-harm continues to be much higher than for men, the figures show.

Buckinghamshire was no exception last year, when the admission rate for women was 197 per 100,000, compared to 95 in 100,000 for men.

The gap reached its widest on record nationally in 2018-19 – the female admission rate was 247 in 100,000, compared to a male rate of 142 per 100,000.

According to Public Health England, self-harm is one of the top five causes of emergency hospital admission.

Katie from self-harm and suicide support organisation Harmless says:

"Often the people we support who go to hospital with self-harm are often met with a lack of understanding and can feel sometimes their self harm is trivialised.

"That's not the say there aren't incredible members of staff who are compassionate. But there does seem to be a whole lack of understanding and a lack of awareness as to why someone self harms and may go to hospital with it.

"People we support self harm because of their emotional pain and it being a coping strategy. We need to not focus on the symptom and instead on the emotional distress."

The government body says the figures represent “only the tip of the iceberg in relation to the health and well-being burden of self-harm”.

Clare Perkins, head of mental health at PHE, said:

“Tackling self-harm requires a joined-up approach across local NHS services, social care, schools and the wider community to ensure people and their families are supported through life’s challenges.”

As part of Mix96's Mental Health Month this February we are sharing advice and stories on the issue, as well as where to go if you are worried for someone's mental health. 

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