Around 1 in 10 adolescents deliberately self-harm. This is often an attempt to cope with intense emotional pain and stress.
Self-harm behaviours can include overdosing with drugs or medication, ingesting a toxic substance, scratching, burning or cutting the skin, hair pulling, or self-punching. It is common for young people who hurt themselves to also experience other mental health difficulties, like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
Adolescents who self-harm are at an increased risk of committing suicide if professional support is not provided.
It is difficult to know exactly how many young people hurt themselves, because people often keep it a secret. It is a myth that people do it to for attention! Unfortunately, the shame and misunderstanding surrounding self-harm prevent many young people from seeking help and talking about this issue.