Nearly 19,000 children and young people in England and Wales were hospitalised for self-harm last year according to figures obtained by the NSPCC. This marks an increase of almost 2,400 (14%) in the past 3 years.
The figures were obtained by a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) to NHS Trusts, and highlight the crisis many young people face as they struggle to cope with the pressures of modern day life, the NSPCC says.
Childline delivered over 18,471 counselling sessions about self-harm last year, making it one of the most common reasons for children and young people to reach out for support.
Dame Esther Rantzen, Childline President said: “It’s deeply disturbing that so many children and young people are ending up in hospital because they are injuring themselves so seriously. Self-harming is at epidemic level among young people, at Childline we hear from them every day.
“It has become one of the most common problems young people bring to us, and I know from our counsellors that these are some of the most painful stories we hear. Often the young people feel too ashamed and fearful to seek help from those around them, until they harm themselves so badly they have to be rushed to hospital.
“Childline is here for them and is free, confidential and open 24/7. It really does help to contact our counsellors who care about you and want to support you.”
Matthew Pearce, Head of Communications