Home > National Self-Harm Registry Ireland annual report 2020.

Joyce, Mary, Chakraborty, Sangita, O'Sullivan, Georgie, Hursztyn, Pawel, Daly, Caroline, McTernan, Niall, Nicholson, Sarah, Arensman, Ella ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0376-1203, Williamson, Eileen and Corcoran, Paul ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1201-7136 (2022) National Self-Harm Registry Ireland annual report 2020. Cork: National Suicide Research Foundation.

PDF (National Self-Harm Registry 2020)

The National Self-Harm Registry Ireland was established in 2000 at the request of the Department of Health and Children, by the National Suicide Research Foundation working in collaboration with the School of Public Health, University College Cork. It is funded by the Health Service Executive’s National Office for Suicide Prevention. It is the World’s first national registry of cases of intentional self-harm presenting to hospital emergency departments. The Registry fulfils a major objective in providing timely data on trends and groups at high risk of self-harm in Ireland. The Registry has been able to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and its associated restrictions on hospital-presenting self-harm, and has provided regular updates to the Department of Health and relevant decision makers. 

This report relates to hospital-presenting self-harm in 2020. For the first time, the data were recorded on an upgraded data entry system that was developed based on the Castor electronic data capture software. We have sought to increase the range of data items being captured by the Registry in order to provide more valuable information. Some of the extra data collected, relating to the current care being received by the person who presented to hospital, are described in this report.

This is the nineteenth annual report from the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland. It is based on data collected on hospital presentations of self-harm in the Republic of Ireland in 2020. Data are reported on 31 hospitals including 28 of the 29 Emergency Departments (ED) which also cover three Children’s Health Ireland hospitals. In addition, data are reported for three Level 2 hospitals. Data for the full calendar year were not available for one hospital in the Dublin region which is not presented in this report. The data presented in this report provide a unique opportunity to compare the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic to pre-pandemic years.

Consistent with previous years, intentional drug overdose was the most common method of self-harm, involved in almost two-thirds (62%) of self-harm presentations in 2020. Minor tranquilisers were the most common drug type used which is the same as previous years. Selfcutting was the other most common method, recorded in 31% of all presentations. Attempted hanging was involved in 9% of all self-harm presentations (12% for males, 6% for females). Attempted drowning was involved in 4% of presentations and although rare as a method of self-harm, self-poisoning was involved in 2% of presentations. Alcohol was involved in 33% of all presentations and was more often involved in male than female presentations (38% and 28% respectively). In general, the type of method used in self-harm was similar to recent years.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
November 2022
48 p.
National Suicide Research Foundation
Place of Publication

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