In a new online poll, one in four young people identified bullying as the reason they had self-harmed. Seventeen per cent cited family relationships, 14 per cent the pressure to do well at school, 11 per cent emotional abuse, and 11 per cent friendship issues.
When asked about the feelings that first led them to self-harm, 61 per cent cited feeling alone, 46 per cent said they felt numb or empty, 41 per cent felt sad, 36 per cent angry, and 34 per cent out of control.
Nearly 4,000 young people aged 25 and under responded to the survey, which was carried out by four support groups – ChildLine, YouthNet, Young Minds and Selfharm.co.uk.
More than 38 per cent who took part in the poll revealed that they had never spoken to anyone about the fact that they had self harmed.
When asked about their coping techniques, 45 per cent said listening to music was the best way to stop themselves self-harming, while 15 per cent said talking to friends and family helped.
The survey was published to coincide with Self-harm Awareness Day on March 1, a global event aiming to raise awareness of the support available to people who self-harm.
“Really tackling the issue of self-harm among young people means not only recognising the situations and feelings that lead them to take this path, but also ensuring that those in a position to help them recognise the early signs of self-harm and how best to support them,” said Rachel Welch of Selfharm.co.uk.
“Many young people told us that they wanted people to know that their self-harm wasn’t about attention-seeking.
“It’s so sad that young people are facing this stigma and being labelled rather than getting the support they need.”