Wed Oct 2, 2013 6:33PM
A growing number of teenage girls in the UK are sustaining self-harm because of the 'unprecedented toxic climate' in which children are being raised, warn experts. According to new figures the number of occasions hospitals have reported admitting teenage girls for self-harm has soared by 10 percent in a year. There were 13,400 cases of self-harm among girls aged 15 to 19 that required hospital treatment in the 12 months to June, up from 12,220 in the previous year. The England-wide data, from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), also shows 4,000 cases of self-harm among 15 to 19-year-old boys. “Every day we hear about the unprecedented toxic climate children and young people face in a 24/7 online culture where they can never switch off. 'Cyber bullying and "sexting", bleak employment prospects and a society obsessed with body image are creating a negative environment around children and young people”, said Lucie Russell, Director of Campaigns and Policy at the charity YoungMinds. “These findings must not be dismissed as simply an inevitable part of growing up”, said Lucie. “Last year our Parents’ Helpline received a record number of calls from parents concerned about the mental health or well-being of their child. “We must take notice of these warning signs and act if we are not to see children increasingly struggling to cope”, she added. Meanwhile, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) says depression in children is more common than people think. It calls for clear steps in place so health workers can deliver the best possible care to young people affected. MOL/HE