Nearly one in three (31%) girls feel overwhelmed by worry often or all the time, compared with 11% of boys, according to a report published today by public health charity Addaction (PDF).
- More than one in five (21%) girls aged 13 to 17 said they think about hurting themselves some or all of the time, twice the rate of boys.
- Nearly one in five girls (19%) said they have a close friend who self harms, compared with 11% of boys.
- 40% of girls think many or most people their age self harm, compared with 20% of boys.
The findings are based on a survey of more than 8,500 students from 51 secondary schools in Kent, Cornwall and Lancashire. The survey was carried out as part of Addaction’s Mind and Body programme, aimed at young people who self harm, or are vulnerable to self harming behaviours.
Rick Bradley from Addaction, who leads Mind and Body, said the findings offer “a clear indication that increasing numbers of young people are really struggling.”
“There is mounting evidence that adolescent life can be overwhelming for many young people, with data indicating it feels particularly tough for girls and young women. We must do more to address this but it is difficult when schools and support services are stretched and the threshold for CAMHS (childhood and mental health services) has never been higher.”