Rates of diagnoses of various mental health concerns may prove alarming to many clinicians and others in the mental health fields, and when such diagnoses affect children, the alarm may be especially prominent. A significant issue in terms of client safety and well-being, self-harm usually grabs the attention of therapists and mental health workers, and self-harm among children is a major concern which many modern protocols and techniques work towards preventing and resolving. Recently, Scotland learned that its rates of self-harm among children and adolescents under the age of sixteen was declining from a turn of the century peak, the numbers are still significant, and many cases may be repeat clients-–a clue that current treatment methods aren’t optimal.
The information was delivered in the form of a report from data collected by the agency Audit Scotland from 1999 – 2009, and noted that over seven thousand hospital admissions for children affected by self-harm were recorded during this period. Though Scotland has implemented new initiatives and funding avenues for the mental health field, commentators have noted that services for the very young as well as the very old have remained considerably under-funded and under-staffed, and many people may have difficulty reaching after-hours or crisis-centered services. Lawmakers have noted that increased funding is excepted to flow to national therapy and mental health services in the next two to three years, some of which would likely go towards improving treatment for children struggling with self-harm issues.
But with a primary goal of the funding set at lowering the maximum waiting time for treatment to twenty six weeks, some may wonder whether the new measures will be enough to significantly lower incidences of self-harm among Scotland’s children.
© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.