High self-harm-related hospital admissions in Maldon simply reflect the hard work of the area’s mental health services, according to one former patient.

Hospital admissions for intentional self-harm is among the “headline” health and welfare issues said to be affecting people in the Maldon district, as outlined in the Essex Health and Wellbeing Board’s Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Essex, 2013 - 2018.

It is the first time such a strategy has been compiled, with priorities formed based on joint strategic needs assessments and localised consultations.

The self-harm figure for the district has come down from its position as second highest per 100,000 population in Essex in 2009/10, but remains high.

The latest statistics show 148.6 people per 100,000 population were admitted in 2010/11 - the fifth highest in the county.

Chris Danes, who has bipolar disorder, has never had a self-harming issue but has benefited from the support of local mental health services,.

He believed the figures were nothing to worry about.