CW: This article contains multiple explicit references to self-harm.
Official statistics have revealed that the number of patients admitted to hospital in Southampton have reached a record high since comparable figures were first released ten years ago.
In the period 2018/19, Public Health England recorded 1,035 emergency admissions to hospital for people with self-harm injuries in the city and surrounding areas.
Self-harm is described in clinical psychology as an ‘act of deliberately inflicting pain and damage to one’s own body‘, and can include cutting, scratching, burning, and other forms of external injury to the self. More recently, the definition has been extended to internal or emotional harm, from consuming toxic amounts of alcohol to participating in unsafe sexual practices.
Nationally, children and young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are the most vulnerable, with 421 in every 100,000 experiencing an admission to hospital for self-harm.
The rate in Southampton is well above the national average.
The head of policy and campaigning for Mind, a prominent mental health charity, said, ‘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 female admission rate was nearly double that of men, with the Southampton admission rate for women being 478 per 100,000, whilst the comparable figure for men was 277 in 100,000.
For support, contact any of the following:
Shout, 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. Text Shout to 85258.
Samaritans, a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123.
The Mix, a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Life, dedicated to supporting student wellbeing and enhancing the student experience. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Student Life are based within Halls of Residence and support all University of Southampton students.