UK sees 'frightening' rise in self-harm among children, NSPCC says

NSPCC headquarters in London Source: Wikimedia

NSPCC headquarters in London
Source: Wikimedia

The U.K. has seen a drastic rise in self-harm cases over the last year, as new data from the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), a U.K. children’s charity, showed.

The NSPCC works to prevent abuse and assist young victims. The charity also deals with self-harm, which can take many physical forms including cutting, burning and scratching and can lead to further problems such as drug usage and overdose.

The data claimed that a colossal 19,000 children were taken to hospital last year for self-harm, an increase of nearly 14 percent over the past three years. East England suffered an especially nasty rise with a 26 percent incident increase.

National Health Service trusts have concurred with the NSPCC, saying that hospital beds are being filled by children taking violent and drastic steps to ease their emotional pain.

One boy who called Childline, a partner of the NSPCC, said: “Sometimes I get flashbacks from what happened when I was younger and I cope with the horrible memories by cutting myself — it helps me release the pain from within.”

Colin Peak, the regional head of service for East England, responded to the increase, saying, “A frightening number of children and teenagers are being driven to self-harm as a way of dealing with unresolved feelings, tensions and distress in their lives. Knowing hospital beds are full of young people crying out for help should be a real wake up call to all those that care for the wellbeing of the younger generation.”

Following this increase in cases, the NSPCC urges young people to contact them and other support charities sooner to avoid self-harm and work through their issues.

The organization also launched their “Call for Help” Christmas campaign to raise funds and provide more efficiency to their services.