Course to tackle city's high self-harming rate
on 17/09/2012 00:00:00
As part of their treatment, they availed of group skills' training, individual therapy and out-of-hours phone coaching with a therapist to help let go of old patterns of self-destructive behaviour.
And having taken part in the programme, the participants were found to make fewer visits to emergency units. There was also a decline in hospital admissions.
Significant falls in anxiety, depression, hopelessness and borderline symptoms were also recorded over the year and during a six-month follow-up period.
All the graduates had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which includes difficulties in managing emotions, continual self-harm and repeated suicidal behaviour.
One of the graduates said the course "gave me the tools to build a life worth living, to finally be able to step out into the world".
"Now, I recognise self-harm as damaging my body and it is not a way of coping. I recognise now where my thoughts to harm are coming from and how to understand and deal with them."
At 484 per 100,000 population, the highest self-harm rate in Ireland is amongst Cork City men - twice that of men in other cities.
Some 20% of people who turn up at hospital having self-harmed will have already presented with similar symptoms. Therefore, such patients can be seen as a significant pressure on emergency departments.
Daniel Flynn, principal psychology manager and leader of the Endeavour Programme in Cork, said it has also benefited families.
"Many have learned to accept that they cannot protect their loved one from emotional distress and thus begun getting on with normal life while their relative has had the support of the Endeavour team," he said.