'Soaring' numbers of under-16s admitted to hospital for self-harming

Hospital admissions have spiked by 76 per cent in the last five years 

Hannah Stubbs
Tuesday 05 April 2016 10:37 BST
(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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The number of under-16s admitted to hospital in England for self-harming has increased by 76 per cent in the last five years, according to new statistics.

Data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre obtained by The New Day shows that the number has soared from 6,882 in 2009/10 to 12,119 in 2014/15.

The overwhelming majority of children were taken in because they had tried to -poison themselves with drugs, alcohol, pesticides, household solvents and other toxic substances, according to the newspaper.

Others, including some aged between five and nine, had tried to hang themselves.

The figures also showed that children aged between one and five were among the youngsters that needed treatment.

Lucie Russell, director of campaigns at the charity Young Minds, said mental health services for children and young people needed an urgent injection of funding.

She told The New Day: “Only 7 per cent of the mental health budget goes on young people under 18, even though half of all mental health problems arise before the age of 14.

“That is a very small amount to be spending on preventing problems becoming entrenched and lasting a lifetime, and we need to see this changed.”

A statement from NHS England given to the newspaper said £1.4 billion of extra funding has been pledged to improve children and -adolescent mental health services, but said “transformation will not happen overnight."

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