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Disclaimer: This report contains references to self-harm and suicide.

Nicole Renshaw’s first job of the day is to go to the children’s service.

“It’s a long walk to the hall and you have time to think about what you’re going to see there,” she said.

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Special Report: Lockdown and Children’s Mental Health

Nicole is a mental health nurse and is a common and increasingly frequent part of her job – seeing children who have come to hospital after self-harm.

Prior to the pandemic, A&E attendance by children with psychiatric disorders had tripled in the past 10 years. Today, month after month, the number of hospital arrivals continues to increase.

Nicole works for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) at the Pennine Care NHS Trust. It is his job to assess the children who have been admitted.

Most have self-mutilated and some have attempted suicide. She must decide whether it is safe for them to return home or whether they should stay in the hospital. It is a decision based on a careful and delicate conversation with the young person involved.

“Often, children self-harm or harm themselves in other ways to cope with stressful situations,” Nicole explained.

Mental health nurse Nicole Renshaw during an assessment
Mental health nurse Nicole Renshaw during an assessment

Laura’s story

Laura, 14, is lying on a bed in the children’s room. She was brought to A&E after trying to harm herself.

She wears a T-shirt from her favorite TV show and watches the Scooby-Doo cartoon. There is a bandage on her arm and she is connected to a drip. His mother sits beside him, looking anxious.

Laura's mom says daughter 'won't come out of her bedroom'
Laura’s mom says daughter ‘won’t come out of her bedroom’

Nicole takes Laura and her mother to a room and the youngster opens up on what is on her …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-18 11:20:00