Ethnic differences in self-harm, rates, characteristics and service provision: Three-city cohort study

Jayne Cooper, Elizabeth Murphy, Roger Webb, Keith Hawton, Helen Bergen, Keith Waters, Navneet Kapur

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Studies of self-harm in Black and minority ethnic (BME) groups have been restricted to single geographical areas, with few studies of Black people. Aims: To calculate age- and gender-specific rates of self-harm by ethnic group in three cities and compare characteristics and outcomes. Method: A population-based self-harm cohort presenting to five emergency departments in three English cities during 2001 to 2006. Results: A total of 20 574 individuals (16-64 years) presented with self-harm; ethnicity data were available for 75%. Rates of self-harm were highest in young Black females (16-34 years) in all three cities. Risk of self-harm in young South Asian people varied between cities. Black and minority ethnic groups were less likely to receive a psychiatric assessment and to re-present with self-harm. Conclusions: Despite the increased risk of self-harm in young Black females fewer receive psychiatric care. Our findings have implications for assessment and appropriate management for some BME groups following self-harm.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)212-218
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


    • self-harm
    • self harm
    • suicide
    • attempted suicide
    • parasuicide
    • self-destructive behaviour
    • self-injurious behaviour
    • suicidal behaviour
    • self injury
    • self-injury
    • self poisoning
    • self-poisoning
    • psychosocial assessment
    • hospital services
    • secondary care
    • primary care
    • mental health assessment
    • clinical management
    • psychiatric assessment
    • therapeutic intervention
    • black and minority ethnic
    • BME


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