Advertisement

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

  • Eve GriffinEmail author
  • Elaine McMahon
  • Fiona McNicholas
  • Paul Corcoran
  • Ivan J. Perry
  • Ella Arensman
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Self-harm Young people Epidemiology 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The National Self-Harm Registry Ireland is funded by the Irish Health Service Executive’s National Office for Suicide Prevention.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None declared.

Ethics statement

The National Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Ireland granted ethical approval for the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland.

Supplementary material

127_2018_1522_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 17 KB)

References

  1. 1.
    Hawton K, Saunders KE, O’Connor RC (2012) Self-harm and suicide in adolescents. Lancet 379:2373–2382CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Morey C, Corcoran P, Arensman E, Perry IJ (2008) The prevalence of self-reported deliberate self harm in Irish adolescents. BMC Public Health 8:79CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Madge N, Hewitt A, Hawton K, de Wilde EJ, Corcoran P, Fekete S, van Heeringen K, De Leo D, Ystgaard M (2008) Deliberate self-harm within an international community sample of young people: comparative findings from the Child and Adolescent Self-harm in Europe (CASE) Study. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 49:667–677CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hawton K, Rodham K, Evans E, Weatherall R (2002) Deliberate self harm in adolescents: self report survey in schools in England. BMJ 325:1207–1211CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Marchant A, Hawton K, Stewart A, Montgomery P, Singaravelu V, Lloyd K, Purdy N, Daine K, John A (2017) A systematic review of the relationship between internet use, self-harm and suicidal behaviour in young people: the good, the bad and the unknown. PLoS One 12:e0181722CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jacob N, Evans R, Scourfield J (2017) The influence of online images on self-harm: a qualitative study of young people aged 16–24. J Adolesc 60:140–147CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Geulayov G, Kapur N, Turnbull P, Clements C, Waters K, Ness J, Townsend E, Hawton K (2016) Epidemiology and trends in non-fatal self-harm in three centres in England, 2000–2012. Findings from the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England. BMJ Open 6:e010538CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Department of Health (2015) Connecting for Life: Ireland’s National Strategy to reduce suicide (2015–2020). Department of Health, DublinGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Griffin E, Arensman E, Dillon CB, Corcoran P, Williamson E, Perry IJ (2017) National self-harm registry annual report 2016. National Suicide Research Foundation, CorkGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bergen H, Hawton K, Waters K, Ness J, Cooper J, Steeg S, Kapur N (2012) Premature death after self-harm: a multicentre cohort study. Lancet 380:1568–1574CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Runeson B, Tidemalm D, Dahlin M, Lichtenstein P, Langstrom N (2010) Method of attempted suicide as predictor of subsequent successful suicide: national long term cohort study. BMJ 341:c3222CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Diggins E, Kelley R, Cottrell D, House A, Owens D (2017) Age-related differences in self-harm presentations and subsequent management of adolescents and young adults at the emergency department. J Affect Disord 208:399–405CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Vancayseele N, Portzky G, van Heeringen K (2016) Increase in self-injury as a method of self-harm in Ghent, Belgium: 1987–2013. PLoS One 11:e0156711CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rhodes AE, Bethell J, Carlisle C, Rosychuk RJ, Lu H, Newton A (2014) Time trends in suicide-related behaviours in girls and boys. Can J Psychiatry 59:152–159CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hawton K, Haw C, Casey D, Bale L, Brand F, Rutherford D (2015) Self-harm in Oxford, England: epidemiological and clinical trends, 1996–2010. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 50:695–704CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Carr MJ, Ashcroft DM, Kontopantelis E, Awenat Y, Cooper J, Chew-Graham C, Kapur N, Webb RT (2016) The epidemiology of self-harm in a UK-wide primary care patient cohort, 2001–2013. BMC Psychiatry 16:53CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Platt S, Bille-Brahe U, Kerkhof A, Schmidtke A, Bjerke T, Crepet P, De Leo D, Haring C, Lonnqvist J, Michel K et al (1992) Parasuicide in Europe: the WHO/EURO multicentre study on parasuicide. I. Introduction and preliminary analysis for 1989. Acta Psychiatr Scand 85:97–104CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Perry IJ, Corcoran P, Fitzgerald AP, Keeley HS, Reulbach U, Arensman E (2012) The incidence and repetition of hospital-treated deliberate self harm: findings from the world’s first national registry. PloS One 7:e31663CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    World Health Organization (2010) International classification of diseases and related health outcomes. 10th Revision (ICD-10) Version for 2010. WHO, 2010. http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd10/browse/2010/en#/X60-X84. Accessed 8 Feb 2018
  20. 20.
    Morgan C, Webb RT, Carr MJ, Kontopantelis E, Green J, Chew-Graham CA, Kapur N, Ashcroft DM (2017) Incidence, clinical management, and mortality risk following self harm among children and adolescents: cohort study in primary care. BMJ 359:j4351CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Corcoran P, Griffin E, Arensman E, Fitzgerald AP, Perry IJ (2015) Impact of the economic recession and subsequent austerity on suicide and self-harm in Ireland: An interrupted time series analysis. Int J Epidemiol 44:969–977CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bor W, Dean AJ, Najman J, Hayatbakhsh R (2014) Are child and adolescent mental health problems increasing in the 21st century? A systematic review. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 48:606–616CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bennardi M, McMahon E, Corcoran P, Griffin E, Arensman E (2016) Risk of repeated self-harm and associated factors in children, adolescents and young adults. BMC Psychiatry 16:421CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wasserman D, Hoven CW, Wasserman C, Wall M, Eisenberg R, Hadlaczky G, Kelleher I, Sarchiapone M, Apter A, Balazs J et al (2015) School-based suicide prevention programmes: the SEYLE cluster-randomised, controlled trial. Lancet 385:1536–1544CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Arnett JJ, Zukauskiene R, Sugimura K (2014) The new life stage of emerging adulthood at ages 18–29 years: implications for mental health. Lancet Psychiatry 1:569–576CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Beckman K, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Lichtenstein P, Larsson H, Almqvist C, Runeson B, Dahlin M (2016) Mental illness and suicide after self-harm among young adults: long-term follow-up of self-harm patients, admitted to hospital care, in a national cohort. Psychol Med 46:3397–3405CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Tanner JL, Arnett JJ (2013) Approaching young adult health and medicine from a developmental perspective. Adolesc Med State Art Rev 24:485–506PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Singh SP, Paul M, Ford T, Kramer T, Weaver T, McLaren S, Hovish K, Islam Z, Belling R, White S (2010) Process, outcome and experience of transition from child to adult mental healthcare: multiperspective study. Br J Psychiatry 197:305–312CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    McNamara N, McNicholas F, Ford T, Paul M, Gavin B, Coyne I, Cullen W, O’Connor K, Ramperti N, Dooley B et al (2014) Transition from child and adolescent to adult mental health services in the Republic of Ireland: an investigation of process and operational practice. Early Interv Psychiatry 8:291–297CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    McNicholas F, Adamson M, McNamara N, Gavin B, Paul M, Ford T, Barry S, Dooley B, Coyne I, Cullen W, Singh SP (2015) Who is in the transition gap? Transition from CAMHS to AMHS in the Republic of Ireland. Ir J Psychol Med 32:61–69CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Hawton K, Bergen H, Kapur N, Cooper J, Steeg S, Ness J, Waters K (2012) Repetition of self-harm and suicide following self-harm in children and adolescents: findings from the multicentre study of self-harm in England. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 53:1212–1219CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Larkin C, Corcoran P, Perry I, Arensman E (2014) Severity of hospital-treated self-cutting and risk of future self-harm: a national registry study. J Ment Health 23:115–119CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lathi A, Harju A, Hakko H, Riala K, Räsänen P (2014) Suicide in children and young adolescents: a 25-year database on suicides from Northern Finland. J Psychiatr Res 58:123–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Bergen H, Hawton K, Waters K, Ness J, Cooper J, Steeg S, Kapur N (2012) How do methods of non-fatal self-harm relate to eventual suicide? J Affect Disord 136:526–533CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rodway C, Tham SG, Ibrahim S, Turnbull P, Windfuhr K, Shaw J, Kapur N, Appleby L (2016) Suicide in children and young people in England: a consecutive case series. Lancet Psychiatry 3:751–759CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Austin AE, van den Heuvel C, Byard RW (2011) Cluster hanging suicides in the young in South Australia. J Forensic Sci 56:1528–1530CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Hawton K, Hall S, Simkin S, Bale L, Bond A, Codd S, Stewart A (2003) Deliberate self-harm in adolescents: a study of characteristics and trends in Oxford, 1990–2000. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 44:1191–1198CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Rhodes AE, Boyle MH, Bridge JA, Sinyor M, Links PS, Tonmyr L et al (2014) Antecedents and sex/gender differences in youth suicidal behavior. World J Psychiatry 4(4):120–132.  https://doi.org/10.5498/wjp.v4.i4.120 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    McMahon EM, Keeley H, Cannon M, Arensman E, Perry IJ, Clarke M, Chambers D, Corcoran P (2014) The iceberg of suicide and self-harm in Irish adolescents: a population-based study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 49:1929–1935CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Hawton K, Witt KG, Taylor Salisbury TL, Arensman E, Gunnell D, Townsend E, van Heeringen K, Hazell P (2015) Interventions for self-harm in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 12:CD012013.  https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD012013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Bergen H, Hawton K, Waters K, Cooper J, Kapur N (2010) Epidemiology and trends in non-fatal self-harm in three centres in England: 2000–2007. Br J Psychiatry 197:493–498CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eve Griffin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elaine McMahon
    • 1
  • Fiona McNicholas
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Paul Corcoran
    • 1
    • 5
  • Ivan J. Perry
    • 5
  • Ella Arensman
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.National Suicide Research Foundation, 4.28 Western Gateway BuildingUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  2. 2.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryOur Lady’s Children’s HospitalDublinIreland
  3. 3.School of MedicineUniversity College DublinDublinIreland
  4. 4.Lucena Clinic, RathgarDublin 6Ireland
  5. 5.School of Public HealthUniversity College CorkCorkIreland

Personalised recommendations