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Self-harm hospital admissions hit record high in Cornwall

Self-harm hospital admissions hit record high in Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:00am 22nd February 2020.

Hospital admissions for self-harm hit a record high in Cornwall last year, new figures show.

The mental health charity Mind says A&E can be a frightening place for someone in a mental health crisis, and that people must get the support they need before reaching that point.

Public Health England data shows there were 1,360 emergency hospital admissions for self-harm in Cornwall in 2018-19 - the most since comparable records began in 2010-11.

That’s 263 cases for every 100,000 people in the Duchy - well above the rate of 193 across England.

mental health

Mind's head of policy and campaigns Vicki Nash said the increase was "worrying", but that it was hard to say exactly what was causing it.

She added: "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."

Vicki Nash, Mind

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

Cornwall was no exception last year, when the admission rate for women was 339 per 100,000, compared to 189 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.

Ms Nash said that experiences such as domestic violence and abuse can increase the likelihood of women experiencing a mental health problem.

She added that you are also much more likely to end up in hospital for self-harm if you live in a deprived neighbourhood.

depressed man 3

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

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”.

“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.”

Clare Perkins, head of mental health at PHE

You can find the source data here.

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