Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Youth self-harm 'up 43pc in last decade'

New figures from the Institute of Health and Welfare show there has been a large increase in the number of young people intentionally hurting themselves.

In the most recent statistical year, more than 7,000 young people were taken to hospital because of self-harm.

The two main causes were poisoning and cutting.

The Institute's Deanna Eldridge says the rate of intentional self-harm amongst young people has gone up by 43 per cent in the past decade, and it is an even bigger rise for girls.

"Overall it only accounts for about 2 per cent of all hospitalisations of young people, but in terms of injury it's about the sixth leading cause of hospitalisation," she said.

The Institute's report shows there has been a drop in the suicide rate, although it is still the second highest cause of injury deaths amongst young Australians, after traffic accidents.

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