Pieta Blog - We need to talk about self-harm

We need to talk about self-harm

Date: 7th February 2017

PARENTS, teachers and caregivers across Ireland need to get better educated on the subject of self-harm.

Ahead of a Self-Harm Awareness Conference at the Aviva Stadium on March 1st, jointly hosted by Pieta House and S Patrick’s Mental Health Services, the call comes after latest figures show an increase in the rates of self-harm nationwide.

According to the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF), figures show that in 2015 the national male rate of self-harm was 186 per 100,000, 1% higher than in 2014. The female rate in 2015 was 222 per 100,000, 3% higher than 2014. Since 2007, the male rate has increased by 15%, whereas the female rate is 3% higher than in 2007.

Dr Paul Surgenor, Director of Research, Education and Training with Pieta House, said, “The figures from the NSRF are alarming but what is even more concerning is the fact that these figures are only based on hospital presentations, and it has been estimated that only 10% of adolescents who had self-harmed had actually presented to hospital.

“We hope that the conference on March 1st will give parents and carers the skills and confidence to initiate the conversation and support their young people in the move from self-harm to self-care.”

St Patrick’s CEO, Paul Gilligan, said, “The increase in rates of self-harm among adolescents over the last number of years is worrying and yet we’re just not talking about it as a society. While we know that as many as 80% of under 25s who die by suicide have self-harmed in the year prior to their death, the act of self-harm continues to remain poorly understood. We are pleased to partner with Pieta House once again this year to turn the attention to this important topic.”

The 2017 Self-Harm Awareness Conference takes place on Self-Injury Awareness Day and will offer a mix of practical workshops and presentations relevant to teaching staff, community workers, parents and students.

* For further information and to register to attend the Self-Harm Awareness Conference on March 1st, visit www.stpatricks.ie/selfharm  Tickets €60/€40. Workshop spaces are limited.