NHS figures suggest a steady rise in hospital admissions in England for self-harmers under the age of 25, indicating that more support and understanding needs to be put in place to help those affected.
22,555 young people were treated for self-harm injuries in 2001, compared with 38,000 in 2010.
The YoungMinds report compiled information from 2,500 GPs, teachers, teenagers and parents from across the UK to investigate attitudes towards self-harm.
Over half of the 200 GPs interviewed for the study felt they did not understand why someone would want to hurt themselves, while over 80% said they had not had enough training to deal with patients who self-harm.
In addition, many teachers felt more comfortable discussing drugs and sex with their pupils than they did discussing self-harm.
20-year-old Will Herring knows first-hand just how important it is for more support to be provided for young British people who self-harm.
When he was 17, Will began to regularly slice his arm with a knife.
“My first proper relationship was about a year and four months and when that broke up I got pretty down about the whole thing,” he said. “The entire thing is tragic in a sense. It’s bad that someone can feel that low to do something like that to themselves.”
The Department of Health has said it will be developing new training resources to teach those who work with young people how best to deal with self-harm cases.
The first step towards getting help for self-harm is to confide in somebody. Once you can talk about your emotions and get everything out into the open, you can seek treatment from a professional.
Counsellors use a number of different treatment techniques to get to help self-harmers find healthier ways to channel their emotions without causing pain or lasting physical damage. Visit our Self-Harm page for further information.
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