Question ref. S6W-01060
Asked by: Miles Briggs, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 25 June 2021
To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) children and (b) adults have been diagnosed with self-harming issues in each year since 2007, also broken down by NHS board area.
Current status: Answered by Kevin Stewart on 5 August 2021
Data from Public Health Scotland shows the number of (a) children and (b) adults presenting with self-harming issues within Scottish NHS acute hospitals in each year from 2007 to 2020, broken down by calendar year of admission (inpatient data only). Figures for 2021 cannot be provided at this time.
- The recording of data does not allow for a breakdown between NHS boards.
- There are some quality issues with this data set due to the recording of self-harm in Acute inpatient settings.
- Figures on self-harm presentations in Accident & Emergency departments, psychiatric inpatient hospitals and outpatients settings cannot be published at this time, due to data quality issues.
- Many people with self-harm related injuries are not treated as Acute inpatients, or do not present to NHS hospitals. Therefore, the data provided will likely be an undercount of self-harm related injuries in the period 2007-2020
The Scottish Government is actively working with partners to develop Scotland’s approach to self-harm; a commitment in the Mental Health Transition & Recovery Plan. We recognise self harm behaviour is complex and often reflects underlying emotional distress. We commissioned Samaritans Scotland to undertake research in 2020 which resulted in the publication of ‘Hidden too long: uncovering self-harm in Scotland’ ( https://media.samaritans.org/documents/HiddenTooLong_uncoveringself-harminScotland.pdf ). Building on that research, our engagement with partners and people with lived experience will allow us to better understand the prevalence and nature of self-harm (and associated data requirements). Crucially, it will inform our approach to ensuring compassionate responses which effectively support individuals and families.