Foundation Calls For Self-Harm To Be A National Priority

In response to the publication of Medical Research Council research into self-harm among young people, Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said:

“While we welcome the publication today of new research into the causes of self-harm among young people, it is frustrating that this issue is not already being vigorously addressed by government. The National Inquiry into Self-harm, which reported in 2006, found that there is an urgent need for more data on this widespread and largely unrecognised problem.

“We are not surprised that the Medical Research Council has recommended more support and training for GPs. Last year’s Inquiry called for a major information campaign to target all professionals working with young people. We also recommended that care providers update their practices with regard to young people’s disclosure of self-harm.

“The discovery by the Medical Research Council that far more young people in the UK approach their GP about self-harm than elsewhere gives even greater urgency to these recommendations, as it does to our call for primary health care settings and schools to be the main focus for young people’s mental health services.

“In short, the time for action on this epidemic of self-harm among our young people is now. We only hope that today’s findings add impetus to our previous calls for change.”

Truth Hurts: Report of the National Inquiry into Self-Harm among Young People was jointly published by the Mental Health Foundation and the Camelot Foundation in 2006. The Inquiry found that, according to the most recent research, around 1 in 15 UK young people has self-harmed and recommended an agenda for change in the ways self-harm is researched, understood and responded to.