How to identify—and help—young people who self-injure

Self-harm is often a sign of mental illness, a growing health issue among adolescents. Are providers offering support on the social media channels that this age group prefers?    

They incessantly pick healing scabs, burn or cut themselves, and sometimes even ingest poison.

These are common behaviors of 90 percent of children who self-injure. The behaviors—and their underlying roots associated with mental illness—are frightening and more prevalent than most parents and providers might think.

Individuals who struggle with emotional problems, mental illness and autism disorders are most likely to self-injure, according to this infographic from TopCounselingSchools.org. Consider these statistics:

  • One in 10 adolescents is affected by serious emotional disturbances.

  • Some 7 percent of high school students admit to having attempted suicide.

  • Nearly 15 percent of high-schoolers say they’ve considered taking their own life.

How can communicators reach this tech-savvy demographic to offer support and services? What is your organization doing to address the increase in self-harm among young people?

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