ChildLine, YouthNet (the charity behind TheSite.org), Selfharm.co.uk and YoungMinds are campaigning together on Self-Harm Awareness Day on March 1st.
This is the fourth year of the campaign and this year will be focused on self-harm and the online world.
It has been estimated that one in twelve young people in the UK have self-harmed at some point in their lives. And the latest figures show that in the last two years alone ChildLine has seen an increase in counselling sessions of 167% on the issue.
There is also evidence that self-harming is affecting children at a younger age than ever before. In 2011/12, ChildLine reported that self-harm was in the top five concerns for fourteen year olds for the first time. However, in the first six months of 2012/13, this age dropped further appearing for the first time in the top five concerns for thirteen year olds.
There are many misconceptions surrounding why young people self-harm. The reality is that:
- Self-harm is not a mental illness, nor is it an attempt to commit suicide.
- It doesn’t just affect girls. Boys self-harm too, but they are much less likely to tell anyone about it.
- We know that young people from all walks of life self-harm, regardless of their social or ethnic background.
- Self-harm is not a fashion fad, nor is it merely ‘attention seeking behaviour’.
- Most importantly, it is not easy for a young person to stop self-harming behaviour.
The charities hope that the awareness campaign will get people talking and help to reduce the stigma attached to self-harming which prevents many young people from seeking help. You can follow the campaign on Twitter via #selfharm and find out more about the campaign on each of the charities websites.
About the Charities/Services
ChildLine offers children and young people aged 18 and under free, confidential advice and support 24 hours a day – no problem is too big or small. Our trained volunteer counsellors can be contacted through our helpline 0800 1111 or on www.childline.org.uk for online chat or email.
Selfharm.co.uk – Is 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.
YouthNet is the leading online charity behind TheSite.org, the online guide to life for 16-25 year olds. TheSite.org provides essential, straight-talking, anonymous advice to young people about the issues affecting their lives. 0207 250 5700 www.youthnet.org www.thesite.org
YoungMinds - YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. YoungMinds provides a Parents’ Helpline for any adult concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of a child or young person. 0808 802 5544 or www.youngminds.org.uk