Today is Self Harm Awareness Day, a day where four national charities Childline, SelfHarm.co.uk, YouthNet and YoungMinds have come together to highlight the devastating impact self-harm can have on children and young people's lives. The campaign is being backed by N-Dubz star and X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos.
The statistics surrounding the number of children and young people self-harming are truly shocking. Around 1 in 12 children and young people are known to deliberately self-harm, with 25,000 admitted to hospital every year due to the severity of their injuries. There has been a 68% increase in the number of hospital admissions in the last ten years due to young people self-harming. These figures are deeply concerning however even more worryingly they are likely to just be the tip of the iceberg as the number of young people who self-harm in silence.
A survey hosted by Childline, Selfharm.co.uk and YouthNet for Self Harm Awareness Day shows just how many children and young people are suffering in silence. Of the 1,398 children and young people who answered the survey on the charities website 41% had deliberately hurt themselves and not told anybody about it.
As Tulisa says "It's incredibly sad that so many young people are using self-harm as a way to deal with their issues and that many are suffering in silence. I've experienced difficult periods in the past but having somebody to talk to makes the world of difference. I know many young people don't have this and I hope they can be made aware that they can contact the charities supporting this campaign to give them the care, help and support they need."
The charities and Tulisa are hoping that as a result of the campaign more children and young people who are using self-harm as a coping mechanism will find the strength to speak to someone about it either their friends, parents or a professional. The four charities between them are able to offer support and advice to children, young people and parents who may be concerned about self-harm.
ChildLine on 0800 1111 and www.childline.org.uk is the UK's only free and confidential 24-hour helpline for children in danger or distress. Trained volunteer counsellors comfort, advise and protect children and young people aged 18 and under.
Selfharm.co.uk - Is a safe, pro-recovery website that supports young people who self-harm. It also offers training for parents, carers and professionals equipping them to handle disclosure and provide effective support.
TheSite.org is an online guide to life for 16 to 25 year-olds, run by leading online charity YouthNet. TheSite.org provides trusted, non-judgemental support and advice on anything from self-harm to homework.
YoungMinds - YoungMinds is the UK's leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. YoungMinds provides a Parents' Helpline for any adult concerned about the mental health or wellbeing of a child or young person. 0808 802 5544 or www.youngminds.org.uk
Tulisa Contostavlos, female star of N-Dubz and straight-talking X-factor judge, came from humble beginnings and has achieved global success. Tulisa grew up on a council estate in Camden and as a teenager faced some difficult personal struggles including violence, depression and bullying. She witnessed her mother being sectioned at the age of 5 years old and went on to make a powerful documentary 'My mum and me' about caring for her mum. Despite a very hectic professional schedule, Tulisa is keen to make time to support vulnerable children and young people.
Follow Sarah Brennan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/youngmindsuk