Children as young as nine-years-old are turning to self-harming as a way of coping with their problems.
That's according to the charity ChildLine, which estimates one in 12 young people at some time will be affected by the issue.
It's now spearheading a campaign to increase awareness after research has shown only half of all GPs fully understand it.
Claire Shortland who is 24 and from Derby, is working for charities helping young people who self-harm as a way of aiding her own recovery.
She explains it's not always possible to know why self-harmers do it.
A campaign supported by X-factor judge Tulisa to tackle the hidden problem of young people self-harming is being launched in Nottingham today. It’s estimated that one in 12 children have deliberately injured themselves out of depression or desperation at some point in their childhood.
The average age of children affected by the condition is thought to be just 13-years-old.
Four charities are combining their resources to raise awareness of the problem.
Tulisa is helping to raise awareness of the issue of self-awareness in a national campaign launched today (Friday 1 March). She says:
"It's incredibly sad that so many young people are using self-harm as a way to deal with their issues and that many are suffering in silence.
"I've experienced difficult periods in the past but having somebody to talk to makes the world of difference. I know many young people don't have this and I hope they can be made aware that they can contact the charities supporting this campaign to give them the care, help and support they need."
- Self-harm is not a mental illness, nor is it an attempt to commit suicide.
- It doesn't just affect girls. Boys self-harm too, but they are much less likely to tell anyone about it.
- Young people from all walks of life self-harm, regardless of their social or ethnic background.
- Self-harm is not a fashion fad, nor is it 'attention seeking behaviour'.
- It is not easy for a young person to stop self-harming behaviour.
According to charity YouthNet.
The charity ChildLine is marking self-harm awareness day by trying to dispel some myths about the mental illness. Last year counsellors in the Midlands had more than 4000 conversations with young people about the issue.
One child that called the helpline in the East Midlands said:
– Caller to charity ChildLine in the East Midlands
I feel so trapped at home. I find it difficult to build a good relationship with my parents, I just want to be alone. When I feel low I hurt myself. I think it would be better for everyone if I just wasn't here.
ChildLine, YouthNet, Selfharm.co.uk and YoungMinds are today launching a campaign to mark Self-Harm Awareness Day.
The day is being supported by X-Factor star Tulisa.
It's estimated that one in 12 young people in the UK have self-harmed at some point in their lives.
Last year, counsellors in the Midlands had more than 4000 conversations with young people about the issue.