Self-harming children double as doctors warn of an ‘endemic’

Self-harming children double as doctors warn of an ‘endemic’

Hospital admissions for self-harming children DOUBLE in six years as doctors warn of an ‘endemic’ driven by Instagram and Facebook

  • Almost 4,000 youngsters aged nine to 17 were taken to hospital last year
  • A shocking 400 cases involved children aged between nine and 12 
  • It comes after Molly Russell committed suicide in 2017 after viewing graphic content

Hospital admissions for self-harm among children have more than doubled in six years, NHS figures reveal.

Doctors last night said they feared it was becoming ‘endemic’ and driven by images on social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook.

Official data shows 3,988 youngsters aged nine to 17 were taken to hospital last year with self-harm injuries. The figure was up from 1,725 in 2011.

Molly Russell from Harrow, Middlesex, was found dead in 2017 after viewing disturbing images and accounts on the social media network

Edie Campbell – ‘fat’ tweets with good friend Christabel McGreevy after the former Vogue cover star revealed how she was told she was ‘too big’ to take part in a catwalk show

 Girls were five times as likely to be admitted with injuries as boys. A shocking 400 cases involved children aged between nine and 12.

The warning comes as a former Vogue cover star revealed how she was told she was ‘too big’ to take part in a catwalk show. Edie Campbell, 28, said she was dropped at the last minute at Milan Fashion Week.


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Psychiatrists believe teenagers’ feelings of worthlessness and obsessions with body image are being driven by the online bombardment of selfies from friends or celebrities. More alarmingly, they say social media is ‘normalising’ self-harm by displaying graphic images of youngsters injuring themselves.

Only last month, a distraught father accused Instagram of helping to kill his 14-year-old daughter Molly Russell. 

The teenager, from Harrow, Middlesex, was found dead in 2017 after viewing disturbing images and accounts on the social media network. 

Her family said she had been viewing material linked to anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide.

Dr Hayley van Zwanenberg, child and adolescent psychiatrist based at the Priory’s Wellbeing Centre in Oxford, said the effect of social media was often to leave children feeling ‘physically and socially’ inadequate.

Edie Campbell (pictured at the Versace show), 28, said she was dropped at the last minute at Milan Fashion Week

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