It’s time for help
Self-harm is no longer just a response to sexual abuse. Bullying, stress at school and social media are all contributory factors to its alarming growth. NHS figures suggest a 20 per cent rise in hospital admissions in England Wales and Northern Ireland among 10 to 19-years-old with self-harm injuries.
Acts of self-harm include: Cutting, scratching, breaking bones, biting, pulling out hair, hitting self, burning self and poisoning. Self-harm can also include less obvious ways of hurting yourself or putting yourself in danger, such as driving recklessly, binge drinking, taking too many drugs, and having unsafe sex.
Self-harm generally starts in early adolescence, a time when emotions are getting more intense and life is getting more stressful. As a parent or carer, you also need to get emotional support, while seeing to the needs of the teenager.
There are signs that a teenager may be self-harming usually a noticeable change in character and behaviour. They may become less active. Other signs include but are not limited to;
Talking about themselves in a negative way, wearing long sleeve clothes and other long garments to hide injury, a deterioration of social engagements and lack of interaction with friends. Frequent accidents and/ or unexplained wounds, scars and bruises, blood stains on clothing, towels or bedding and long periods spent in the bathroom and/or their bedrooms. The full article on self-harm can be found on my blog here
For more information and guidance:
Royal College of Psychiatry on self harm and The Young Mind – an essential guide for parents and those who self-harm, helpguide.org
Help is offered at
selfharm.co.uk a safe, pro-recovery website that supports young people who self-harm. It also offers training for parents, carers and professionals equipping them to handle disclosure and provide effective support.
Young Minds which also provides a parent support here and a helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri 9.30-4pm)
Childline call 0800 1111
and alternatives to self-harm which offer relief here.