Service launched to tackle self harm rates

A new service has been launched in Mayo aimed at reducing the incidence of self harm in the county.

Figures released by HSE West have revealed that an average of 300 people are presenting at the emergency department at Mayo General Hospital each year following a self harm episode.

The new service includes a dedicated self harm nurse for the county and aims to cut wait times for individuals presenting with self harm, and provide a mental health and psychiatric assessment in such cases.

The services also aims to reduce the self harm re-attendance rate, reduce admission rates and hospital bed days relating to self harm.

Self harm or self injury is when an individual deliberately inflicts physical harm on him/herself - usually as a means to deal with stress or difficult emotions.

Peter Livingstone is the new self-harm nurse in Mayo.

He said his primary role will be to engage with people following a self harm episode.

“This involves an in-depth bio-psychosocial assessment, identifying the causes of the crisis, the context of the self harm, the current level of risk, and the primary stressors and triggers,” he explained.

Nationally, an average of 12,000 self harm cases are presenting at emergency departments across the country.

HSE West said self harm can affect people of all ages, from teens to older people, and injuries can range from minor to serious, and even life threatening.

The use of alcohol or other substances can be a contributing factor.


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