Admission to hospital and self-harm

Insufficient evidence – there either hasn’t been any research on this treatment option or there is a small amount of evidence with unclear conclusions.

Children and young people are rarely admitted to inpatient units in the UK. If your professional suggests inpatient care then this will be because they think it’s the best way to help you. This might be because they are concerned that you’re at significant risk from self-harm or if you need a type of treatment that isn’t available anywhere else.

How long you stay will depend on the support that you need. Your family will be able to visit you and usually, you will continue to do school work and have sessions with a mental health professional.

Although inpatient units can be helpful in keeping you safe and providing intensive treatment, there are also concerns about the negative effects of being separated from family and friends and your normal community. This can make it harder to go back to school, start seeing your friends and family again and get back to your usual routines. There are also sometimes concerns about the impact of being with other young people with similar problems. While inpatient care can be supportive as you might meet people who know how you feel, there can also be downsides such as unhelpful coping strategies starting to seem normal.

You can find more information about inpatient care here.

Treatments outlined on these webpages may not be available in every local area. It’s important that you discuss with your GP or mental health professional the treatment options available to you. You can also search for services near you on our Youth Wellbeing Directory and find out more about referral processes here.


Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We’d also like to set optional analytics to help us improve it. We won’t set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We’d like to set non-essential cookies, such as Google Analytics, to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our Cookies page. If you are 16 or under, please ask a parent or carer for consent before accepting.