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Article

A Qualitative Account of Young People’s Experiences Seeking Care from Emergency Departments for Self-Harm

1
Orygen, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
2
Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia
3
Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2 D02 PN40, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
S.J.B. is now at Trinity College Dublin.
Academic Editors: Maria Michail, Anna Lavis and Pooja Saini
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2892; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062892
Received: 29 January 2021 / Revised: 2 March 2021 / Accepted: 8 March 2021 / Published: 12 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention among Young People)
Many young people who engage in self-harm do not seek help from health services. For those that do, emergency departments (EDs) are a key point of contact. Substantial gaps remain in current knowledge related to young consumers’ experiences and views on optimal treatment of self-harm in the ED. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirteen young people (Mage = 21.2 years), who were engaged with care at headspace early intervention centers and had presented to an ED with a self-inflicted physical injury. Participants were asked to describe their experience in the ED and the care they received. Data were analyzed thematically. Three inter-related themes were identified: 1. The ED was experienced through a lens of significant distress, 2. The ED environment and processes were counter-therapeutic, and 3. Staff were perceived to be disinterested, dismissive, and lacking in knowledge. The study highlights the overwhelmingly negative nature of participants’ experiences, and presents recommendations for service and practice improvements, such as the provision of staff training and increased aftercare. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-harm; emergency departments; young people; qualitative self-harm; emergency departments; young people; qualitative
MDPI and ACS Style

Byrne, S.J.; Bellairs-Walsh, I.; Rice, S.M.; Bendall, S.; Lamblin, M.; Boubis, E.; McGregor, B.; O’Keefe, M.; Robinson, J. A Qualitative Account of Young People’s Experiences Seeking Care from Emergency Departments for Self-Harm. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2892. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062892

AMA Style

Byrne SJ, Bellairs-Walsh I, Rice SM, Bendall S, Lamblin M, Boubis E, McGregor B, O’Keefe M, Robinson J. A Qualitative Account of Young People’s Experiences Seeking Care from Emergency Departments for Self-Harm. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):2892. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062892

Chicago/Turabian Style

Byrne, Sadhbh J., India Bellairs-Walsh, Simon M. Rice, Sarah Bendall, Michelle Lamblin, Emily Boubis, Brianna McGregor, Meghan O’Keefe, and Jo Robinson. 2021. "A Qualitative Account of Young People’s Experiences Seeking Care from Emergency Departments for Self-Harm" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 6: 2892. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062892

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