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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Jayne Cooper
  • Elizabeth Murphy
  • Keith Hawton
  • Helen Bergen
  • Keith Waters


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.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-218
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010