News & Events

Launch of NSHRI Annual Report 2021

13 Feb 2024

The National Self-Harm Registry Ireland operated by the National Suicide Research Foundation launches its Annual Report for 2021.

The National Self-Harm Registry Ireland reports that during 2021 a total of 12,661 self-harm presentations were made to hospital by 9,533 individuals. The rate of individuals presenting to hospital following self-harm in 2021 was 196 per 100,000, similar to the rate of 200 per 100,000 reported in 2020.

The data in the Annual Report 2021 provides an opportunity to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 in comparison to the first year of the pandemic and pre-pandemic years.

Dr Mary Joyce, Manager of the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland states that: “The finding of no increase in self-harm rates during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic is reassuring. This is similar to the findings from 2020 in the early stages of the pandemic. However, it will be important to continue to monitor and evaluate the incidence of suicide and self-harm in subsequent years and post-pandemic. The consequences of economic disruption on suicidal behaviour are of particular concern given existing evidence for increases in suicidal behaviour during economic recessionary times.”

“There was a similar proportion of presentations accounted for by repetition in 2021 as in 2020, when a slight increase was observed in comparison to previous years. These findings highlight the need to further develop mental health services and supports in Ireland for individuals engaging in self-harm, particularly vulnerable groups such as those who are homeless. This is of particular importance given the record levels of homelessness and migration in Ireland and other countries.”

The work of the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland is funded by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention.

Commenting on the trends over time in hospital-presenting self-harm, Dr Paul Corcoran, Head of Research, National Suicide Research Foundation, states that: “The more detailed section on trends over time in the Annual Report 2021 highlights some interesting findings. The male rate of hospital-presenting self-harm has returned to pre-economic recession levels. The rate in 2021 was 17% lower than it was in 2018 and 24% lower than the peak rate that was observed in 2010. In contrast, the female rate of hospital-presenting self-harm has remained relatively stable for over a decade and in 2021, it was 45% higher than the male rate, the largest difference observed in the 20 years of Registry reports.”

“For most age groups of men and women, the rate of hospital-presenting self-harm in 2021 was similar to, or lower than, it was before the recession. The main exception is women under 25 years of age, especially adolescents. The adolescent female rate of hospital-presenting self-harm has increased persistently for over a decade, with the greatest annual increase occurring from 2020 to 2021. Some of this increase may reflect greater help-seeking and accessing care, however, it emphasises that young girls are a priority group for self-harm prevention efforts.”


What did the Annual Report 2021 find?

Further information can be found at Press Release Launch of NSHRI Annual Report 2021

The report is available to download at the following link. 

Reports – National Suicide Research Foundation ( 


For more on this story contact:

Mr Niall McTernan, National Suicide Research Foundation. E: 


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