Self-harm: Females

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 25 February 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Children's Society finding in their report entitled The Good Childhood Report 2018 that one in five 14 year old girls have self-harmed, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on effective prevention of self-harm among teenage girls.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Ministers from both Departments meet to discuss many issues through the Inter-Ministerial Group for Mental Health.

We are concerned about the rise in young people, especially girls, self-harming, which is why we included a new key area for action to address self-harming in the Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Strategy in 2017.

We continue to fund research into self-harming through the Multi-Centre Study for Self-harm in England which will look at self-harming in children and young people in more detail over the next two years.

We have invested £249 million to ensure every emergency department has a mental health liaison team in place by 2020/21, which are well placed to treat people who present at hospital for self-harm. The NHS Long Term Plan has committed to ensuring that 70% of liaison mental health teams meet the 24 hours a day, seven days a week standard by 2023/24 and 100% thereafter. The NHS Long Term Plan also commits to developing integrated models of primary and community care to support people with complex needs, including self-harming.

Furthermore, it commits to building on work through the Global Digital Exemplar programme, to explore the use decision-support tools and machine learning to support better delivery of personalised care and predict future behaviour, such as risk of self-harm or suicide.

We are also concerned about potentially harmful suicidal and self-harm content online and met recently with internet and social media providers to seek assurances from the sector that they will address these issues. Ministers form the Department of Education were in attendance at that meeting. The Government will publish an Online Harms White Paper later this year which will set out our requirements of the online sector in addressing suicidal and self-harm content.

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