One person a day is being treated for self-inflicted injuries in South Tyneside

The number of emergency hospital admissions for self-harm is rising
The number of emergency hospital admissions for self-harm is rising

One person a day is being treated at South Tyneside Hospital for self-inflicted injuries, according to shock new figures.

Public Health England figures show there were 368 emergency admissions to South Tyneside District Hospital in 2017-18 for intentional self-harm injuries.

South Tyneside District Hospital

South Tyneside District Hospital

The numbers were released as social media sites announced they would clamp down on the sharing of self-harm images.

The South Tyneside figures means that there are 257 self harm cases for every 100,000 people in the area – a higher ratio than the average for the North East, where it is 243 per 100,000.

Dr Jim Gordon, local GP and clinical director for mental health at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Mental illness and self-harming have huge impact on people’s lives.

Dr Jim Gordon

Dr Jim Gordon

“We have a range of mental health services to help people in South Tyneside who are experiencing crisis or who are considering harming themselves, including a 24/7 mental health crisis line and a street triage team who help to ensure that people are directed to the right mental health service for their needs.

“Our local NHS is increasingly working with children and young people in schools and other settings to intervene early and keep people well.

“We have also developed a guidance toolkit for schools and training for a range of professionals.”

The number of cases last year in South Tyneside was a small decrease on 2016-17, when there were 369 admissions.

Most of the cases concerned female patients, with 210 admissions of women or girls for self-harm, 57% of the total number.

Recently, photo-sharing platform Instagram announced that it would be banning graphic images of self-harm on its site.

The social network’s head Adam Mosseri said the firm recognised it “needs to do more to protect the most vulnerable in our community”.

Stephen Buckley, from mental health charity Mind, said the decline in emergency admissions may not tell the whole story.

He said: “While the data shows a reduction in the number of people being given emergency treatment after self-harm, it doesn’t explain why this might be the case.

“There are alternatives to A&E, such as crisis houses, but it’s vital to seek emergency care when needed – and equally vital that A&Es provide effective support.

“It’s also important to remember that the data doesn’t show how many people are self-harming but not receiving any treatment or help at all.”

Suicide rates in South Tyneside are relatively low. Between 2015 and 2017, 30 were reported, at a rate of eight per 100,000.

The average across England was 10 per 100,000.

*The Health Crisis Line number in South Tyneside is 0303 123 1145.

*Anyone feeling depressed or anxious they can contact their GP or access talking therapy directly by contacting the Lifecycle Service on 0191 283 2937.

*The Samaritans operate a round-the-clock freephone service 365 days a year for people who want to talk in confidence. They can be contacted by phone on 116 123 or by visiting samaritans.org