Self harm increasing among teenagers

The number of English teenagers who self harm has increased threefold in just the last decade, according to new research.

A collaborative study overlooked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that one in five 15-year olds is now self harming, news-cloud.co.uk reports. Whilst there is no comparative data with other countries, as England is the only one to have undertaken such a study in the longer term, it represents a threefold increase in ten years.

The figures are being published in the Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) report, which isn't expected to be fully unveiled until the autumn. It saw 6,000 youngsters across England - aged 11, 13 and 15 - analysed on their overall mental health.

In the study, self harm was given to include anything from cutting to burning and biting.

It was also discovered that self harm remained notably more common in girls than boys, with much of the differences coming between the ages of 11 and 15.

The study's principal investigator for England, Professor Fiona Brooks, told theguardian.com: "Our findings are really worrying and its [self harm that's] considerably worse among girls.

"At age 11, both girls and boys report a good level of emotional wellbeing. But by the age of 15, the gap has widened and we get 45 per cent of adolescent girls saying they feel low once a week compared with 23 per cent of boys."