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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-01060

Date lodged: 25 June 2021

Question

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


Answer

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.

Year

Adults

Children

2007

9683

1112

2008

9921

1041

2009

9571

896

2010

9544

863

2011

9591

723

2012

9273

763

2013

9081

1019

2014

8246

1054

2015

7929

1020

2016

7866

1039

2017

8199

1082

2018

8576

1105

2019

8909

1141

2020

8462

1400

Notes :

  • 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.