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Self-Harm and Kids: Why They Do It. How We Can Help.

Teen girl hand on floor with pills
This article is part 5 of 15 in the column BeAKidsHero™

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Why do children cut, burn, hit or poison themselves? The cause is often a feeling of despair or untreated mental illness and depression.

And it’s a growing issue among pre-teens and teens. Nearly 2 million cases of self-harm are reported each year, but the actual number may be higher, as a majority of those engaging in self-injurious behavior (SIB) conceal their activity.

According to updated data on self-harm from HealthyPlace.com

  • One in five females and one in seven males engage in self-harm yearly
  • Ninety percent of those who engage in self-harm begin in the pre-teen or teen years
  • Nearly 50 percent have been sexually abused
  • Many learn how to inflict harm from friends or pro self-injury websites

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