Home > National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm annual report 2010.

Long, Jean and Lynn, Ena (2011) National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm annual report 2010. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 39, Autumn 2011, p. 24.

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The ninth annual report from the National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm was published in July 2011.1 The report contains information relating to every recorded presentation of deliberate self-harm to acute hospital emergency departments in 2010, giving complete national coverage of cases treated.

In 2010, there were 11,966 recorded presentations of deliberate self-harm, involving 9,630 individuals. The rate of presentations increased from 209/100,000 of the population in 2009 to 217/100,000 in 2010, a 4% increase. Of the 9,630 individuals who presented, 86% were presenting for the first time in their life.
Concordant with previous reports, 47% of self-harm presentations in 2010 were men and the same proportion (47%) were aged under 30 years. Two hundred and seventy five (2.3%) were living in homeless hostels or had no fixed abode. Presentations peaked in the hours around 10pm and were highest on Sundays and Mondays; 32% of episodes occurred on these two days. There was evidence of alcohol consumption in 41% of all presentations and this was more common among men (44%) than women (37%)
Drug overdose was the most common form of deliberate self-harm, occurring in 71% (8,538) of all such episodes reported in 2010. Overdose rates were higher among women (77%) than among men (65%). In 73% of cases the total number of tablets taken was known; an average of 31 tablets was taken in these cases. Forty-two per cent of all drug overdoses involved a minor tranquilliser, 29% involved paracetamol-containing medicines and 21% involved anti-depressants or mood stabilisers. The number of deliberate self-harm presentations involving street drugs increased in 2009 (579) and again in 2010 (645) when compared to 2008 (461). Men are much more likely than women to self-harm using street drugs.
The next step, or referral outcome, was recorded for 90% of deliberate overdose cases: over two fifths (41%) were discharged home; 37% were admitted to an acute general hospital; 7% were admitted to psychiatric in-patient care; a small proportion (0.6%) refused admission to hospital; and 14% discharged themselves before receiving referral advice.
The report recommends the following measures to reduce the incidence of deliberate self-harm:
  • A wide range of evidence-based treatments and aftercare programmes;
  • Uniform assessment and aftercare procedures;
  • Adequate services to deal with alcohol and depression at peak admission times;
  • Information campaigns for the general public on the common symptoms of depression and signs of suicidal behaviour, and places where help is available
  • A national strategy to deal with alcohol supply and illegal alcohol use among children under 18 years.
1. National Suicide Research Foundation (2011) National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm annual report 2010. Cork: National Suicide Research Foundation. www.drugsandalcohol.ie/15674
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 39, Autumn 2011
Page Range
p. 24
Health Research Board
Issue 39, Autumn 2011
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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