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Self-Harm Helpline: Option 3

Information and Statistics - Self Harm

Self-harm is often associated with Eating Disorders and does not just affect girls. Boys, men and women self harm too - in fact in sufferers under 10 years old boys actually outnumber girls. But overall self-harm is more common in girls - who are 4 times more likely to self-harm than boys.

1/3 of girls and 1/5 of boys in the UK aged 11-19 have tried to harm themselves. The number of children admitted into hospital because of self-harm has risen by 1/3 in the last 5 years

More than 170 000 people seek hospital treatment because of self harm each year in the UK, however, only 10-15% of sufferers ever seek help - so many, MANY more people are suffering in silence. The average age for self-harm to start is 12 years, but some cases have been reported in much younger children - and many adults also self harm. The number of 10-18 year olds admitted into hospital from 2003-2008 rose by 1/3. Only 10-15% of sufferers ever seek help for their self harm.

Teenage girls are around 2-4 times more likely to self harm than boys - but in younger children (under 10) self harm is actually more common in boys than girlsStudies vary in estimating the proportion of young people who self harm but probably around 1 in 10 will suffer at some stage. Some studies have found very high rates in some groups of teenagers - with as many as 1/3 of girls saying they have self harmed. Most people who self harm once go on to do it again, but it is possible to fully recover and to be free of self-harm.


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