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Self-harm rates in Hackney children ‘real concern’

31/10/2017

A growing number of children and young people in Hackney are self-harming, health chiefs have warned.

City and Hackney clinical commissioning group (CCG) say the rate of self-harm is now ‘a real concern’ for local clinicians and the public and is putting pressure on services.

Homerton Hospital has reported ‘significant’ increases in children and young people in crisis attending the accident and emergency department, according to the latest CCG risk register.

The risk register presented to the September CCG governing board said a large proportion of these crises cases were due to self-harm.

The hospital dealt with 84 cases between October 2016 and March 2017 with 21 cases reported in February alone. Over half of those who die by suicide have a history of self-harm, the report said.

‘This significantly increases City and Hackney’s risk of high suicide levels in our young people later in their childhood, adolescence, or in adulthood.

This increase in demand is also impacting on the A&E 4 hour target,’ the report added.

Local increases in City and Hackney reflect national trends. New research published in the October’s British Medical Journal found self-harm in teenage girls under the age of 17 increased 68% in the last three years.

The study found self-harm more common among children and young people living in deprived areas.

Young people who self-harmed were around nine times more likely to die an unnatural death than those who did not, 17 times more likely to die from suicide, and 34 times more likely to die from acute alcohol or drug poisoning.

Help available for children and young people who self-harm:

If you are worried about your child or young person, ask you GP to refer them to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). 

Off Centre in Hackney also offers support and counselling to children and young people aged 11-25. Children can self-refer to Off Centre or can be referred by a professional.

If your child is in crisis, call the City and Hackney's 24-hour mental health crisis line on 020 8432 8020.

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