Link to TwitterLink to FacebookLink to    Tel: 07734 104421

Self Harm Guide for Parents

shutterstock_134295569Although I work with people who are over 18 years old, I was struck by the increase of parents asking me for advice, after they have discovered their child self harming.

It’s almost impossible to say how many young people are self-harming. It is thought that around 13% of young people may try to hurt themselves on purpose at some point between the ages of 11 and 16, but the actual figure could be much higher.

In 2014, figures were published suggesting a 70% increase in 10-14 year olds attending A&E for self-harm related reasons over the preceding 2 years.

Girls are thought to be more likely to self-harm than boys, but this could be because boys are more likely to engage in behaviours such as punching a wall, which isn’t always recognised as self-harm or doesn’t come to the attention of hospitals. In reality self-harm doesn’t happen to one type of person, it can’t be predicted and scarily, we don’t really know how many people are going through it. This is all really vague, but you can take one thing away from it – you are not alone, whether you are harming or seeing someone you love or work with go though it. It’s more common than you think.

There is help and advice out there and I’ve listed a couple below that may help:

Oxford University Centre for Suicide Research

Young people’s self-harm can leave families confused, anxious and feeling like there’s nowhere to turn. Now, based on in-depth research with parents, a team from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry are launching a guide to help parents and carers who are trying to cope with this difficult situation. Coping with Self Harm Guide

Videos of some of the interviews with parents are also available online:


Selfharm UK is committed to helping people overcome difficulties with self-harm, providing information that can help children stay safe.

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experiences we campaign, research and influence policy and practice.