Young people and self-harm

Published on February 2020

Research commissioned by The Mix and carried out in collaboration with YouGov has shown that over 1 in 3 young people have self-harmed, which is dramatically above the NHS estimate of 1 in 10.

In advance of Self-Harm Awareness Day (SHAD) on 1st March, The Mix wanted to understand the full extent of self-harm amongst young people, in order to explore why they are self-harming and what the barriers are to seeking support.

The results show that the stigma around self-harm, and a lack of sufficient resources is preventing young people from speaking out and seeking help when they are self-harming.

The research also reveals that young people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual and aromantic are more than twice as likely to self-harm than their heterosexual peers. Women aged 16-25 are also nearly twice as likely to self-harm than men in this age group.

In the YouGov survey, 21% of those who had self-harmed had told no one at all. The Mix believe that the stigma around self-harm needs to be broken and that to keep young people safe, we need to create safe and supportive space where those who self-harm can share their experiences and begin their journey of recovery.

Spaces where young people can talk openly about the realities of self-harm are essential. Our research consistently shows conversation and a feeling of being understood are the best forms of support. At The Mix we aim to offer spaces for conversations to take place and information for those who need help or who wish to be informed whilst supporting a friend or family member.

Read our full white paper here: Self Harm and Young People The Mix White Paper