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Self-harm rate among women huge concern

SOUTH Dublin women suffer from one of the highest rates of self-harm in Ireland.

The revelation came as a new self-harm treatment programme reduced by 99.5pc in just one pilot study the number of days spent in Irish hospitals by suicidal patients.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) confirmed it now has 17 teams nationwide trained in the DBT Endeavour system who are targeted on self-harm and suicide blackspots.


Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) was developed in the US and has been hugely successful in reducing the suicide rate among its patients by 50pc as well as causing a fall in in-patient admissions by 75pc.

Ireland is now the first country in the world that has decided to fund the roll-out of DBT trained teams under the Endeavour initiative.

The decision came after the country’s self-harm and suicide rates rocketed over the past decade. Ireland has one of the highest rates of young male suicide in the world.

New figures show that Limerick has the highest rates of self-harm for men and women in Ireland.

South Dublin has one of the highest rates for self-harm among women.

This is despite the fact that south Dublin also has some of Ireland’s most affluent neighbourhoods.

The DBT system was developed by Prof Marsha Linehan, who paid tribute to the Government and HSE.

She described the treatment programme as helping patients to accept who they are, undertake changes they feel are necessary and, critically, to learn life skills to cope with the issues troubling them. The pilot DBT programme began in Ireland in 2010/11 with a special study group of 12 patients set up in the North Lee area of Cork.

It was found that, before undertaking DBT treatment, the 12 patients accounted for a total of 207 hospital bed days between them.

Over the same period after the conclusion of DBT treatment they accounted for only a single hospital bed day - a reduction of 99.5pc over a comparable period.


The number of accident and emergency admissions was reduced from 49 before DBT treatment to zero.

The HSE confirmed that the latest study, compiled in 2012/2013, revealed that Limerick has the highest rate for deliberate self-harm for both men and women. The rate is almost double the national average.

Limerick had 469 male cases per 100,000 population compared to 107 cases per 100,000 population in Co Galway.

Monaghan recorded Ireland’s lowest rate.