A recent survey has found that, among 1,398 young people surveyed, more than half admitted to hurting themselves on a regular basis.

The survey also found that 86% of the respondents (the survey is not representative of the whole population) admitted to deliberately injuring themselves at some point in their lives and that depression was the main reason for doing so. They also admitted to hurting themselves as a way of ‘coping’.

Self-harm can be a way for a young person to show they are feeling a lot of pain and hurt. There are many reasons why young people might harm themselves – although the need to self-harm usually comes from emotions they find difficult to manage. The emotions could relate to any number of things, such as bullying or abuse, or indicate other child welfare concerns.

Young people self-harm as a way of releasing tension or anger. It’s a physical pain they can deal with, rather than an emotional feeling they find hard to manage. It is also a way of gaining control, especially when they feel other parts of their life are out of control.