New figures show that Weymouth and Portland has the highest rate of hospital admissions for self-harm among people in the South West.

And one charity is calling for action, claiming that hospital beds are “full of people crying out for help” to deal with the pressures of modern life.

The number of people hospitalised due to self-harm jumped in 2016/17 and has remained well above the national average, with 361 in every 100,000 people admitted last year according to Public Health England.

This compares the average for England for 2016/17 was 404.6 people admitted per 100,000, while for South West England that figure was 185.3 per 100,000.

In other parts of Dorset, Purbeck had 188 admissions per 100,000 while West Dorset had 258.8.

Stephen Buckley, head of information at mental health charity Mind, said: “It is concerning to see that so many people are ending up in hospital as a result of self-harm, particularly women and girls.

“It indicates that far too many people aren’t getting the help and treatment they need earlier on.

“It’s important that healthcare professionals work collaboratively with someone who is self-harming to understand what treatments work best for them, while keeping them safe.

“We know that sometimes people who need to be hospitalised because they have self-harmed are not shown the care and respect they need.

“Treatment for self-harm should be sensitive, non-judgemental, and look at the person as a whole – not just tending to the physical problem but addressing any underlying mental health issues too.”

“People who self-harm need understanding, help and support, rather than being stigmatised or blamed.”

Marianne Storey, CEO of Dorset Mind, added: "Societally, we need to take more responsibly.  Self-harm is a difficult and complex issue. 

"Harming yourself can take very many forms and is usually a means of dealing with very difficult feelings, usually related to an underlying mental health struggle. We must begin to talk more openly about we are feeling, especially if we know people around us are not in a good place. 

"We need to educate people about mental health conditions and how to prevent self-harm by talking about how we can find other ways to channel difficult emotions and cope when overwhelming thoughts appear to take over. 

"Those conversations can save lives and we are still too scared to have them. 

"We must challenge the inequality of mental ill health throughout Dorset so people receive the proper support they need at the appropriate time – it is not just the responsibility of specialist services it’s the responsibility of everyone. 

"There are services available in Weymouth and Portland that directly support people who are experiencing mental health challenges. More information can be found at 

"Go to see your GP if you are not coping. If you are considering harming yourself, call the Samaritans on 116 123, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

An NSPCC spokesman said the numbers show how important it is for mental health support to be made available to young people which they say are the most common group to be admitted.

The spokesman said: “Knowing hospital beds are full of young people crying out for help should be a real wake-up call to the fact that an increasing number are struggling to deal with the pressures and demands of modern-day life.”

Ged Flynn, chief executive of national charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, urged parents and teachers not to shy away from facing self-harm head on.

He said: “Self-harm can seem very scary and off limits to many parents and professionals but it should be taken seriously and not ignored.

“Whilst the reasons for self harming behaviours are varied, they can represent a significant suicide risk among many young people.”

If you are affected by self-harm or concerned for a young person call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000.

If you are struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts, call the following helplines:

Samaritans 116 123

Papyrus (for those aged under 35) 0800 068 41 41

Childline (for children and young people under 19) 0800 1111

The Silver Line (for older people) 0800 4 70 80 90