Self-harm in university students: A comparative analysis of data from the Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England.
Clements C., Farooq B., Hawton K., Geulayov G., Casey D., Waters K., Ness J., Kelly S., Townsend E., Appleby L., Kapur N.
BACKGROUND: Increases in poor mental health and suicide have been identified among university students in the UK. However, little is known about self-harm in this group. AIMS: To describe and identify care needs of university aged-students who self-harm via comparisons with an age-equivalent non-student group who self-harm. METHODS: Observational cohort data from The Multicentre Study of Self-harm in England were used to investigate students aged 18 to 24 years who presented to emergency departments for self-harm, 2003 to 2016. Data were collected via clinician reports and medical records from five hospitals in three English regions. Characteristics, rates, repetition, and mortality outcomes were investigated. RESULTS: The student sample included 3491 individuals (983, 28.2 % men; 2507, 71.8 % women; 1 unknown) compared to 7807 (3342, 42.8 % men; 4465, 57.2 % women) non-students. Self-harm increased over time in students (IRR 1.08, 95%CI 1.06-1.10, p