Increasing rates of self-harm among children, adolescents and young adults: a 10-year national registry study 2007-2016

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Griffin, Eve
McMahon, Elaine M.
McNicholas, Fiona
Corcoran, Paul
Perry, Ivan J.
Arensman, Ella
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Springer Verlag
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Purpose: Rates of hospital-treated self-harm are highest among young people. The current study examined trends in rates of self-harm among young people in Ireland over a 10-year period, as well as trends in self-harm methods. Methods: Data from the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland on presentations to hospital emergency departments (EDs) following self-harm by those aged 10–24 years during the period 2007–2016 were included. We calculated annual self-harm rates per 100,000 by age, gender and method of self-harm. Poisson regression models were used to examine trends in rates of self-harm. Results: The average person-based rate of self-harm among 10–24-year-olds was 318 per 100,000. Peak rates were observed among 15–19-year-old females (564 per 100,000) and 20–24-year-old males (448 per 100,000). Between 2007 and 2016, rates of self-harm increased by 22%, with increases most pronounced for females and those aged 10–14 years. There were marked increases in specific methods of self-harm, including those associated with high lethality. Conclusions: The findings indicate that the age of onset of self-harm is decreasing. Increasing rates of self-harm, along with increases in highly lethal methods, indicate that targeted interventions in key transition stages for young people are warranted.
Self-harm , Young people , Epidemiology , Republic-of-Ireland , Mental-health , Suicide , England
Griffin, E., McMahon, E., McNicholas, F., Corcoran, P., Perry, I. J. and Arensman, E. (2018) 'Increasing rates of self-harm among children, adolescents and young adults: a 10-year national registry study 2007–2016', Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 53(7), pp. 663-671. doi: 10.1007/s00127-018-1522-1
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. The final authenticated version is available online at: