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Self-harm rates ‘double’ among pre-teen children

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An average of 10 pre-teen children are admitted to hospital for self-harm each week, it has been revealed, in an apparent doubling of rates.

Between 2019 and 2020 there were 508 recorded hospital admissions for self-injury, such as cutting oneself, within the 9-12 age group in the UK, compared to 221 between 2013 and 2014, suggesting rates have doubled in the past six years, according to an analysis of the data from BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme.

“The increase in the data that you've looked at is in keeping with what we're finding from our research databases,” Keith Hawton CBE, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford and consultant psychiatrist at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, told BBC File on 4.

Prof Hawton, who is also principal investigator of the multicentre study of self-harm in England, said: “It's almost as though the problem is spreading down the age range somewhat. And I do think it is a concerning problem. And I do think it's important that it's recognised that self-harm can occur in relatively young children, which many people are surprised by."

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Source: The Independent, 16 February 2021

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