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Number of teenage girls self harming doubles in 20 years

RISING: Self harm among teenage girls in England (Photo credit: Masterful)

SELF HARMING figures have doubled compared to 20 years ago, after NHS reported that the number of girls under the age of 18 being treated in hospital in England have increased.

The figure reached 13,463 last year against 7,327 in 1997. In comparison, the figure for admissions of boys who self-harmed rose from 2,236 in 1997 to 2,332 in 2017.

The number of girls treated for attempting a substance overdose has risen more than tenfold to 2,736 last year from 249 in 1997, while the number of boys treated increased over the past 21 years from 152 to 839 last year.

Charities have warned that this sharp rise among young girls is due to the pressures of school work and social media.

A spokeswoman told the Times: “We know from contacts to Childline that many children are being driven to self-harm as a way of dealing with the pressures and demands of modern-day life. Young people are crying out for help.”

The latest figures were disclosed by James O’Shaughnessy, a health minister, last month in response to a written question about how many boys and girls have been admitted to hospital because of self-harm and self-poisoning.

Research published last October found that self-harm reported to GPs among teenage girls under the age of 17 in the UK increased by 68% over a period of three years.

The study also found that self-harm among young people aged 10 to 19 was three times more common among girls than boys, and those who self-harmed were at much greater risk of suicide than those who did not.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Making sure children and young people have the right mental health care when they need it is vital.

“That’s why we are investing an extra £300m to provide more help in schools, which will include trained staff to provide faster support to children. But we want to go further – we’ve extended our pilot scheme to deliver training in 20 more areas of the country this year to improve links between 1,200 schools and their mental health services, and, as part of our long-term plan for the NHS, we will announce more on how we will improve mental health later this year.”

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