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Mental Health, Suicide & Self-Harm

Mental health issues can affect children, young people and adults.

According to the Oxfordshire Mental Wellbeing Strategy 2015, the UK is ranked as the sixth worst country in Europe for child wellbeing. Up to 10% of children have a mental health problem that may continue into adulthood whilst over three quarters of adults seen by mental health services had a diagnosable mental health illness before they were 18.

Deliberate self-harm has increased over the past few years, with clinicians reporting a vast increase in girls in particular. Locally, Oxfordshire has slightly higher rates than the national average for admissions of children to hospital for deliberate self-harm. Nationally suicide is one of the leading causes of death in adolescents. Bullying and cyber bullying has had an increase of effect in emotional states of young people. The most recent Oxfordshire figure shows that 10.6% of children reported bullying within the county. This is slightly lower than the current national average.

Useful Links and Publications Including the newly revised Self Harm Guidelines:

The OSCB has produced the following learning for practitioners

Learning from an SCR – Parental Disability, Mental Health and CSE (EYES ON DOCUMENT)

for  Safeguarding Disabled Children, Self Harm, Anxieties or Young People and Mental Health Training – Please see the Training Brochure Sept 2015-16 for more details


  • Oxford Mental Health Forum
  • Self Harm Working Group – The county council’s safeguarding manager is working with professionals in the north of the county to develop better screening, identification and support for young people self-harming.


The Primary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (PCAMHS) in Oxfordshire is an early intervention children’s mental health service for 4 – 18-year olds that:

  • Delivers direct work for children experiencing early indications of mental health or behavioural concerns.
  • Manages a single referral point for all non-urgent children’s mental health referrals ensuring that children are directed through the most appropriate service at the right time.
  • Supports frontline professionals in dealing with children’s emotional mental health and behaviour issues through training, consultation and supervision.

PCAMHS also provide support within secondary schools across the county.

Children and Adolescents Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Oxfordshire provides mental health support for young people aged 4-18 years olds. This service is different from PCAMHS as they treat young people who may need help over a longer period of time, and may need more professionals to be involved. This might be because of something significant which has happened in their life. It is different for every young person, and CAMHS treat everyone as an individual.

CAMHS will also treat young people in an emergency if they need help for a serious mental illness. CAMHS can also support parents and carers.


HORIZON – Supporting Young People & Families affected by Sexual Abuse

Horizon is a new service that aims to help reinstate a sense of safeness and well-being for children and teenagers who are experiencing distress as a result of sexual harm.  We will work jointly with other professionals, through consultation and assessment, to develop a joint understanding of the strengths and difficulties of both the young person and their environment.  Horizon specializes in working with complex trauma and will focus on building compassionate resilience and developing positive attachment relationships.  Horizon is in partnership with Safe! (Commissioned by the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner), which supports young people affected by crime.

Horizon is open to children and teenagers under 18 and living in Oxfordshire.  Please feel free to contact us for any queries or to discuss potential referrals.

Horizon: Supporting Young People Affected by Sexual Harm

Boundary Brook House

Churchill Drive



Email: oxfordhealth.horizon@nhs.net


Last Updated: 22/02/2016