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Worrying rise in reports of self-harm among teenage girls

CONCERNING: Research reveals 68% rise in rates of self-harm among girls aged 13 to 16 since 2011

THE BBC reports a "steep rise in self-harm among teenage girls,” according to a new findings.

This study was conducted by researchers at the University of Manchester and Keele University, and was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). They used reliable national databases to look at trends in reports of self-harm among young people aged 10 to 19 since 2001 and found annual rates of self-harm of 37 per 10,000 girls and 12.3 per 10,000 boys.

There were several notable findings, including a 68% rise in rates of self-harm among girls aged 13 to 16 since 2011, something that wasn't seen in boys or any other age group in girls.

The research also revealed that it is socially deprived areas where the greatest increase of self harm is seen. These children are also less likely to be referred to mental health services within a year of their first incident compared with those children living in more affluent areas.

Despite some media speculation, the study didn’t explore the reasons behind these trends. It could be that due to greater awareness of the help available, more teenagers are willing to report self-harming. But we cannot ignore the possibility that many cases of self-harm may also go unreported.

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