Self harm


Sally Marlow examines what is driving so many people to self-harm.
Sally Marlow talks to some of the men and women who have self-harmed, and the experts who treat them, to find out what is driving so many people to self-harm.

Clinical guidelines define self-harm as any act of self-poisoning or self-injury carried out by a person irrespective of their motivation.  However, research reveals a worrying association between self-harm and the risk of suicide.  

While rates of self-harm are particularly high among teenage girls, the true picture is far more nuanced. Rates have gone up in all age groups and both genders and, more recently, in groups such as middle-aged men.

So what is driving so many people to hurt themselves, and what can be done to help them?  The media is quick to point the finger at social media, but Sally discovers that the reasons behind this question are as varied and complex as the people who do it.

Producer: Beth Eastwood

Self-harm charity warns it may run out of money

Neil Smith

South Cumbria journalist, BBC Cumbria

A charity that aims to help people in Cumbria likely to harm themselves says unless it gets more money it will have to fold.

Self-Harm Awareness for All was set up in Barrow, but has since grown to cover the whole county.

Now, it says that a lack of funds means it is having to withdraw from the north and west of Cumbria, and may have to close completely in two years.

Rod White has been the charity's chairman for six years but is about to stand down, and he says the existing services are not good enough.

People have to wait far too long, the service they get depends on how ill they are so in order to get treatment they have to be very ill, so they have to wait until they are that ill to get treatment."

Rod White
Bournemouth mum takes up boxing to improve mental health
Bournemouth mum Gemma Ruegg has won a regional title 10 weeks after giving birth to her daughter.