A&Es see surge in self-harming boys

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Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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The number of cases of young boys being admitted to A&E for self-harming is at a five-year high, new figures reveal.

Admissions of boys aged 10 to 14 have soared by 30% over the past five years, from 454 in 2009 to 2010 to 659 in 2013 to 2014.

The number of young boys admitted to hospital has increased nearly every year over the past five years, according to statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

And the number of cases of girls aged 10 to 14 self-harming has also increased dramatically, nearly doubling from 3,090 in 2009 to 2010 to 5,955 in 2013 to 2014.

Experts said bullying, stress at school and sexual pressure is driving young people to self-harm.

And while the worrying trend is more common in girls, it is increasing in boys too.

Lucy Russell, director of campaigns at the charity YoungMinds, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “Calls to our parents’ helpline have gone through the roof over the last few years.”

She added: “What we hear from various bits of research all across the country is that self-harm is definitely increasing and it’s increasing in boys as much as it is with girls.”

Ms Russell said youngsters were “under a lot of pressure in the modern age” with a wide range of potential triggers.

“There is a lot of family breakdown, there are addiction issues in families, poverty issues, there is a lot of stress at school in terms of having to perform and pass exams, there’s bullying, 24/7 online culture, sexual pressures, issues around body image and, really, in terms of the future, what are young people going to do in the future?

“All those issues affect boys too.”

Self-harm can include cutting, burning and intentional self-poisoning.

The HSCIC said the figures related to the number of admissions, rather than individual patients, and could include individuals who have gone to hospital many times.

Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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