For some young people, self-harm is linked to specific experiences and is a way of dealing with something that is either happening now or which happened in the past. For others, the reasons are less clear and can be harder to make sense of.
There are many ways people can self-harm and they vary from making cuts on their bodies, taking overdoses of medication or putting themselves in risky situations. Not all self-harm is linked to thoughts of suicide, but young people who do self-harm are at greater risk of suicide, so it is important that properly trained mental health professionals assess the risk of this.
Around 10-30% of teenagers will self-harm at some point during their life. With the right help and support to reduce underlying stresses and treat mental health problems, young people can be helped to stop self-harming.