Data collected by Public Health England (PHE) show that Stoke-on-Trent had a significantly higher rate of hospital admissions of self-harm for 15-19 year olds and 20-24 year olds compared with the national average in 2016/17. Moreover, compared to its statistical nearest neighbours, Stoke-on-Trent had the highest rate of hospital admissions of self-harm for 15-19 year olds.
The Centre for Health and Development (CHAD) at Staffordshire University was asked to carry out research and a consultation exercise for Stoke-on-Trent City Council. The aim was to discover why the rate of hospital admissions as a result of self-harm for children and young people (CYP) in Stoke-on-Trent had increased. A literature review was conducted to understand the prevalence, outcome and risk factors for CYP that self-harm, worldwide and in the United Kingdom (UK). This will provide some context to try to help explain increases in the rates of self-harm nationally and in Stoke-on-Trent. Analysis of secondary data was carried out to determine any variations within self-harm rates for CYP by demographic factors. This used self-harm hospital admission episode data for Stoke-on-Trent, provided by the Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (MLSCU).
Consultations with a range of professionals were used to gain an understanding of what self-harm is, why CYP in Stoke-on-Trent self-harm, what could be done to address self-harm, and consequently, how to reduce the rate of hospital admissions. To explore the experience of young people who have self-harmed, we conducted one-to-one interviews with four young people. The interviews allowed individuals to share their experiences of self-harm, their wider context, their thoughts on self-harm and young people, and recommendations to help reduce the rate of self-harm. This report concludes with a discussion of the findings from both consultation with professionals and individual interviews with young people, with subsequent recommendations on how to reduce rates of self-harm.
Young People and Self-harm, December 2019, Sian Parry, Fiona McCormack and Professor Chris Gidlow, read the full report here.