Self-Harm Among Adult Victims of Human Trafficking Who Accessed Secondary Mental Health Services in England
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Objective: This study estimated the prevalence and correlates of self-harm among adult victims of human trafficking who accessed secondary mental health services, and it estimated the responses of mental health services to these individuals. Methods: A clinical records database was searched for self-harm, sociodemographic, clinical, and service use characteristics among trafficked adults who accessed secondary mental health services in South London (2006–2012). Logistic regression models compared trafficked patients (N584) and a matched cohort of nontrafficked patients (N5287). Results: Among trafficked patients, 33% had engaged in selfharm prior to care and 25% in self-harm during care. After engaging in self-harm, trafficked patients were more likely than nontrafficked patients to be admitted as a psychiatric inpatient (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]52.81) but less likely to visit an emergency department (AOR5.47). Conclusions: Self-harm is prevalent among trafficked adults accessing secondary mental health services, and mental health professionals have a crucial role to play in supporting survivors.