5-speed listening (Self-harm - Level 5)

Big rise in self-harm among girls






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There has been a big rise in self-harm among young teenage girls in the UK. A new study from a British medical journal says more and more 13-16-year-old girls are self-harming. Researchers looked at the data of 600 doctors on nearly 17,000 patients. The researchers found that there was a 68 per cent increase in self-harm among girls over the three-year period of the study. During the same period, rates stayed constant for 10- to 12-year-old girls and 17- to 19-year-olds. The self-harm rates for girls are three times higher than those for boys.

A professor of psychiatry and population health said increasing stress and psychological problems were probably adding to the trend. He said: "It's important to understand its underlying causes." A children's charity said: "Self-harm can often be an expression of a deeper problem, which is why early intervention services to support these children are vital. Without this, the consequences really can be a matter of life or death." Self-harm is one of the biggest risk factors for teenage suicide. Suicide is the second most common cause of death in under-25s around the world.

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