Researchers from Queen's University and the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland have been asking 941 sixteen-year-olds about self-harm. One in ten had self-harmed in the past year and another 14% had thought about it but had not done so. Girls were much more likely than boys to say that they had thought about harming themselves (18% vs 7%) or had actually done so (13% vs 5%). There were strong links between self-harm and high levels of stress, high expectations the youngsters felt they could not fulfil and experiences of bullying in school. 25% of the sample said that they had suffered from serious mental and emotional health problems in the past year for which they felt they needed professional help although only 9% had actually asked for it. Youngsters from less well-off backgrounds were significantly more likely to be affected by mental-health issues and to have self-harmed or considered self-harming.
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