Mandurah children and teens self harming more than any aged group

Photo: Shutterstock.

Photo: Shutterstock.

Shocking statistics reveal Mandurah children and teenagers, as young as 10 years old, are presenting more than any other age group at hospital emergency departments for self-harm reasons.

Department of Health statistics provided to the Mandurah Mail show the number of times Mandurah residents attended any WA hospital with self-harm related reasons.

Between 2013 and July 2019, 715 children between 10 and 19 years old presented at emergency departments for self harm, followed by the 20 to 29 age group (644) and the 30 to 39 age group (460).

Nine children below nine years old sought help for self-harm related reasons between these years.

Between 2016 and 2018 we've had 700 more contacts annually for self harm injury concerns.

Kids Helpline spokesman Tony FitzGerald

People over 60 years old attended the ED the least for self-harm reasons (109).

Between 2012 and 2018, Mandurah residents aged between 20 and 29 had the most admissions to hospital for self-harm related injuries at 211, followed by the 10 to 19 age group (194) and the 30 to 39 age group (163).

The total number of self-harm related ED attendances of all Mandurah residents has increased from 294 presentations in 2013 to 455 attendances recorded in 2018.

Over the past seven years, the average length of hospital stays for self-harm related injuries for any age group has more than doubled from 3.8 days in 2012, to 7.8 days in 2018.

The thing we're really trying to do is raise awareness, especially when we're talking about self harm.

Peel Youth Services spokeswoman Eleanor Britton

Peel Youth Services spokeswoman Eleanor Britton said the Peel Health Hub was working to assist young people by offering assistance before problems escalated.

"Early intervention is crucial," she said.

"We're fostering relationships with local schools and have some classrooms walk through the facility.

"The thing we're really trying to do is raise awareness, especially when we're talking about self harm."

Kids Helpline spokesman Tony FitzGerald said the organisation had seen an increase in demand over the last 12 months.

Mr FitzGerald said counsellors had recorded an increased number of self harm incidents nationally.

"Between 2016 and 2018 we've had 700 more contacts annually for self harm injury concerns," she said.

Mr FitzGerald said the bulk of clients were aged between 12 and 18.

If your life is in danger call 000. For crisis support or suicide prevention call 13 11 14. To get in touch with the Peel Health Hub call 9583 5435.

If you are a parent or carer that needs assistance, visit this website which includes resources and training.