New statistics show that more than 1,800 children under 10 have been treated in hospital for self-harming in the past decade. The shocking figures have raised concerns about mental health and children being overlooked.
Last year almost 150 boys and girls aged 10 or under, including more than 80 pre-school children, went to hospital for hurting themselves.
According to these stats, the number of girls and women aged under 25 who were admitted to hospital for self-harming in the last 10 years has risen by 44% to more than 26,270. With boys and men the figure has also gone up by a third to 11,656.
“These shocking statistics should act as a wake-up call to everyone who cares about the welfare of young people,” said Lucia Russell, the director of campaigns, policy and participation at YoungMinds, a charity that’s working to redesign mental health services for children with the Government.
“Self-harm is often dismissed as merely attention-seeking behaviour, but it’s a sign that young people are feeling terrible internal pain and are not coping,” said Lucia.
While more than one in 10 children aged 15 to 16 report having self-harmed in their lifetime, the Department of Health has said that is “rare for very young children” to self harm.
According to officials, self-harm is often linked to bullying, low self-esteem and worries about sexuality.
The Government has promised £32 million to improve access to psychological therapies for children and young people over the next four years.