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Christian charity aims to stop the increase in self-harm hospital admissions

by Cara Bentley

Data obtained through freedom of information requests from 32 NHS Trusts showed around 60 per cent of under-18s who were referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services by their GP were not receiving treatment.

Several didn't have a formal diagnosis and therefore didn't qualify for medication but the number of under-18s admitted to A&E for self-harm has increased by 50 per cent in five years.

The charity aims to prevent the increased figure by intervening at an earlier stage with a programme called Family Intervention for Self Harm (FISH).

Spurgeons Children's Charity said when families are involved in the prevention process, there is often much more success.

CEO of Spurgeons Children's Charity, Ross Hendry, told Premier: "What's unique about the Spurgeons' approach, and we believe it's a biblical, Christian approach, is that we don't deal just with the individual teenager but we deal with that teenager within the context of their family.

"So we believe actually the safe nurturing environment where a child flourishes is within the family and a stable, loving home."

Hendry said Christians have a specific powerful message.

He added: "If there's nothing else that transforms your view of your own identity, your self-worth and your opinion of yourself, it's when it's when you believe you're a child of God.

"So, I think there's a really powerful message for Christian charities like Spurgeon's and the local church to reach out and show teenagers there is something worth living for."

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