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Alarming rise in figures of young people self-harming

New figures from the NHS show that there has been a huge increase in self-harm amongst children, more prominently in young girls.

With the added pressures of social media, divorce, body image and self-esteem, school, and more, children are more anxious than ever, causing a major rise in self-harm and mental illness in general.

Social media appears to play a large factor in children’s body image and self esteem, adding to the rise in social pressures for young people. Children are also exposed to more news stories and information, increasing their worries about austerity and their future. However, these are just some of the factors that are affecting young people. Dr Peter Hindley, chair of the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, stated that although social media attributes to the anxieties that children are experiencing, “increased sexualisation and the pressure to succeed” are also major factors. Young girls are feeling heightened pressure to perhaps appear older than they are, which continues to add to the stress and anxiety of growing up.

Over the last decade, the NHS have seen figures, for both boys and girls, dramatically rise, with children as young as 3 years old suffering from anxiety. Self-harm in girls aged 0-17, such as poisoning, has seen a 42% increase in 2014/15 than the decade before. The figures are startling and changes need to happen. The chief executive of Young Minds, Sarah Brennan, has stated that although the above factors do contribute to the increase in self-harm in children, it is also the lack of help available and that “there needs to be far more investment in early intervention, so that problems are dealt with when they first emerge.”

n-compass northwest are playing their part by supporting young people in Lancashire. Our effective programme (Butterfly and Phoenix project) allows us to support children and young people who are at risk of self-harming and/or destructive behaviour. Our outcomes speak for themselves, but due to funding restraints, these services aren’t consistent across the County. This is something we are keen to change, working alongside the CCGs as part of their transformational agenda. Please contact us for more information or visit our website.

Sources: Huffington Post | Telegraph | The Guardian

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