Why are Somerset young people self-harming? And do they have the right support?​

The group considered:

  • Where do you come across self-harm?​
  • What can you do when you spot it?​
  • What support is there in schools, colleges and the community?​

Young people in the group discussed that the biggest cause of self-harm is down to poor mental health and these mental health issues can take the form of depression, not being understood, and pressures at home or school.

Past traumas can also manifest physically by self-harm. When young people don’t feel in control of parts of their lives, they may self-harm as a way of taking back control. It’s a difficult topic to talk about, but the participants handled it really well.

Somerset Youth Forum members

Most young people were aware of self-harm taking place in their school, college and community, and had been seeing an increase in it. They had seen an escalation in types of self-harm, moving from one form to another – for example, cutting themselves leads on to burning themselves, drug use or unsafe sex.

Somerset Youth Forum members
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