Northern Ireland

NI Health: Report shows rise in self-harm cases at A & E departments

There were more than 12,000 attendances at hospital emergency departments in Northern Ireland in the past financial year for self-harm and suicidal thought, according to a new report.

The NI Registry of Self-Harm annual report is due to be launched by the Public Health Agency on Friday.

The number of people presenting with self-harm injuries at A&E departments is 2% higher than 2012-2013.

Almost one third (30%) of A&E visits were made in the Belfast Trust.

The report said 18% of presentations were made in the South Eastern and Northern Trusts, and 17% in the Western and Southern Trusts.

It said 20% of people presented with self-harm on more than one occasion during the 12 month period.

People aged 15-29 accounted for 44% of all self-harm presentations, with 16% of presentations being made by 20-24 year olds, followed by 15-19 year olds (15%) and 25-29 year olds (13%).

The total numbers of presentations in Northern Ireland for self-harm and suicidal thought for the financial year 2013/14 was 12,076.

Health Minister Jim Wells said that while the numbers attending hospital in Northern Ireland were high, it was "important to note that this shows people are listening to our message and are asking for help".

"This is critical," he said.

"If we are to address the issue of suicide prevention we must continue to encourage those in crisis to seek support when they need it."

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