This report provides an update on the actions being taken to prevent and reduce the likelihood of suicides in Children and Young People in Medway. It sets out the Medway specific interventions being taken forward as part of the Medway Suicide Prevention Action for Children and Young People following the approval of the Kent and Medway Suicide Prevention Strategies for Adults and Children and Young people by Cabinet on the 28 September 2021.
The Public Health Consultant introduced the report explaining that it built on the Suicide Prevention Strategy that was considered by the Committee in August 2021. The Action Plan was Medway specific, and he reminded the Committee that suicides amongst children and young people were very low (less than five over a three year period) and hospital admissions due to self-harm was below National average and was in the bottom five in the South East region.
Members then raised a number of questions and comments, which included:
In response to a further question on emerging trends as the report identified a higher rate of hospital admissions due to self-harm in Rochester West and Twydall wards and significantly higher incidences of self-harm in girls aged 10-24, the officer said that it was difficult to identify particular factors due to the statistically low numbers. There were several possible explanations such as the same individual presenting at A&E multiple times. Following the introduction of the Emerge project (which provided support to young self-harmers presenting at A&E) and self harm awareness training for partners, there may be a difference in patterns that would be evident in the data available later in January 2022.
The Committee agreed to note the report
The Committee agreed that updates (with dates clearly timetabled) on progress against the action plan be provided annually via a briefing note to Committee Members, unless areas of concern were identified which would require the item to be brought before the Committee for further scrutiny.