Shock new figures on youth suicide

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Figures given to local Assembly member

Craigavon Hospital’s A&E has admitted one of the highest numbers of children due to self-harm or suicidal thoughts in the past nine months.

Figures released in an answer to an Assembly question revealed that of the 904 such cases at Craigavon, 43 were under the age of 16.

Only the Royal Victoria Hospital and Antrim Area Hospital had higher numbers of children presenting with self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

Indeed across Northern Ireland almost 340 children under 16 have been admitted to A&E departments due to self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

Local MLA Sam Gardiner said the figures were shocking and added: “This is a frightening statistic, especially considering it is only for a nine month period. Many people will be shocked that so many of our young people have gone through such a disturbing experience.

“I cannot begin to imagine the pain going through these young people’s minds and the distress that this causes on the wider family circle. Issues such as bullying, anxiety and body image may all be contributing to our younger generation’s poor emotional wellbeing, so all public bodies must now redouble their efforts to give our young people the support they clearly need.”

If you have been affected by issues raised in this story you can contact the Lifeline phone line for support - the number is 0808 808 8000.