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National Self-Harm Registry Ireland annual report 2016.


Eve Griffin, Christina B Dillon, Ella Arensman, Paul Corcoran, Eileen Williamson, Ivan J Perry

Subject Keywords: Self-harm, Injury, Overdose, Drugs Misuse
Topic: Mental Health
Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Type: Report
Region: Republic of Ireland

Although the 2016 self-harm rates show a slight increase from 2015, there seems to be a stabilisation in the rate of self-harm in recent years. It should be noted however that the 2016 self-harm rate is still 10% higher than the rate in 2007, the year before the economic recession. The findings from the Registry continue to highlight groups at risk for self-harm and suicide. In 2016, there was a significant increase in self-harm among women aged 25-29 years and a further narrowing of the gender difference, from 37% in 2004-2005 to 24% in 2016. We continue to see an increase in methods of selfharm with higher lethality among both men and women including those in the younger age groups. Overall, there has been a 72% increase in the use of highly lethal methods between 2007 and 2016. Such high-risk suicidal behaviour is associated with increased levels of suicidal intent, and these patients often require more intensive interventions P.6 Intentional drug overdose was the most common method of self-harm, involved in 67% of all acts registered in 2016. Minor tranquillisers, paracetamol-containing medicines and antidepressants/ mood stabilisers were involved in 35%, 30% and 19% of drug overdose acts, respectively. P.7 Access to medication - In line with previous years, drug overdose was the most common method of self-harm recorded by the Registry. Minor tranquilisers were involved in approximately one-third of all overdoses. The Registry recorded an increase in the number of self-harm presentations involving drug overdose in 2016. In particular, there were increases in overdoses involving paracetamol-containing medication as well as Tricyclic Antidepressants. There was no change in the number of overdose acts involving street drugs (involving substances such as cannabis, ecstasy and heroin), following an increase of 18% in 2015. Considering that since the start of the Registry in 2003, minor tranquillisers have been the most frequently used type of drug involved in intentional overdoses, reducing access to minor tranquillisers and other frequently used drugs should be an ongoing priority in line with Goal 6 of Connecting for Life. Considering the on-going high rate of self-harm involving paracetamol, it would be important to review the legislation to reduce access to paracetamol, which was implemented in Ireland in 2001.





Rights: © Public
Suggested citation:

Eve Griffin, Christina B Dillon, Ella Arensman, Paul Corcoran, Eileen Williamson, Ivan J Perry. (2017) National Self-Harm Registry Ireland annual report 2016. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 20th March 2019].


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