01
October
2018
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01:11
Europe/London

Researchers' work on self-harm receives major award

A University of Manchester research team has received a prestigious Royal College of General Practitioners award for their work on adolescent self-harm.

 Their 2017 study, uncovered a steep rise in reported self-harm in teenage girls.

The award gives recognition to an individual or group of researchers who have undertaken and published an exceptional piece of research relating to general practice or primary care.

The trend in 13 to 16-year-old girls from 2011 to 2014 was not seen in boys or other age groups.

The study was published in the British Medical Journal and funded by the National Institute for Health Research

It used anonymised patient records collected from 674 GP surgeries through the Clinical Practice Research Data Link.

The research team consisted of academics from the University of Manchester, including researchers from the NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, the Centre for Health Informatics and the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, alongside Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham, Professor of General Practice with Keel University.

Children and teenagers who self-harmed were nine times more likely to die unnaturally than unaffected young people with an especially marked increased risk of suicide and acute alcohol/drug poisoning death.

We are delighted to receive this prestigious award to further highlight this important area of work. Self-harm is the biggest risk factor for subsequent suicide. Our findings prompt the urgent call for medical, social and public health services to come together to understand and address these worrying trends and ensure vulnerable young people get the help and support they need
Dr Cathy Morgan

The study also highlighted a social divide, with the highest rates of harm and lowest referral rates being observed in the most deprived areas.

Dr Cathy Morgan, who was the first author on the paper, said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award to further highlight this important area of work. Self-harm is the biggest risk factor for subsequent suicide. Our findings prompt the urgent call for medical, social and public health services to come together to understand and address these worrying trends and ensure vulnerable young people get the help and support they need.”

The research team have donated the prize money to 42nd Street Manchester, a Manchester based charity supporting young people with their emotional wellbeing and mental health.

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