The number of children aged nine to 12 self-harming in the UK has doubled in just six years, with indications that mental health problems are increasing amongst the very young.
According to BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme, the number of pre-teens attending hospital after intentionally injuring themselves rose from 221 in 2013-14 to 508 in 2019-20. With population growth factored in, it results in a rate of self-harm for this age-range having doubled.
Professor Keith Hawton, a specialist in suicide and self-harm at the University of Oxford’s School of Psychiatry, observed that it appeared “as though the problem is spreading down the age range somewhat”.
“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. I think it indicates that mental health issues are perhaps increasing in this very young age range,” Professor Hawton said, according to