2,000 hospitalised in Doncaster for self-harming

Doncaster Royal Infirmary. DRI. (Picture: CHRIS BULL HospitalD3707CB)
Doncaster Royal Infirmary. DRI. (Picture: CHRIS BULL HospitalD3707CB)
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Nearly 2,000 people in Doncaster were admitted to hospital after deliberately harming themselves in the last year alone, shock figures reveal.

Figures show 1,898 people were admitted to hospital for self-harming between June 2014 and June of this year.

A health charity warned self-harming is a growing mental health problem in the borough.

Balby has one of the highest figures with 165 people admitted to hospital in a year followed by Bentley where 120 people were admitted.

The figures are contained in a Public Health Substance Misuse Team report presented at a Doncaster Council cabinet meeting.

A number of health services aimed at helping people who self harm have been set up in Doncaster in a bid to tackle the ongoing issue.

A spokesman for Doncaster Mind said: “Hospital admissions across Doncaster for self-harm at 1,898 cases in just one year may seem very high, but self-harming is a serious and growing mental health problem across the country.

“Self-harm is when you hurt yourself as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, old memories, or overwhelming situations and experiences.

“It is not just physical harm, such as cutting or burning your own skin, it can also be putting yourself in risky situations, or overdosing.

“People have always self-harmed but it is now more acceptable to come forward, as the condition is better 
understood.”

One former sufferer, who did not want to be named, said: “Fifteen years of self-harm was my way of releasing the pain, releasing the lid on a screaming pressure cooker.

“It gave me tremendous relief. It’s 20 years since then, because I learned to cry, scream, give voice to pain, dance, laugh, and sing.”

A spokesman for Doncaster Mind said: “Doncaster Mind receives a steady stream of referrals from health professionals, and self-referrals, and is now seeing as many men as women coming forward.

“Some people are waiting to be in a position to start addressing their self-harm, as sufferers need to be ready in order to move towards recovery.

“Although there is no magic solution or quick fix for self-harm, Doncaster Mind has a self-harm support group, and also offers one to one support with a trained member of staff.

“Making changes and understanding your own triggers and learning new coping strategies can take time, and it is more realistic to aim at stopping your self-harm in the future.”

A spokesman for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust added: “We offer support for both adults and children who may self-harm or feel that they may want to self-harm via our Adult Mental Health or Children and Young People’s Mental Health services in Doncaster.”

n If you or someone you know could benefit from talking to Doncaster Mind about self-harm, contact us on 01302 812505 or email wellbeing@doncastermind.org.uk

n Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust advise any adult who is thinking of self-harming to call 01302 566999. Young people aged 14-18 can refer themselves into RDaSH services by attending a drop-in session held at the Talking Shop, Hallgate, Doncaster, on Mondays between 2.30pm and 4.30pm or call 01302 566999.