The emotional well-being of children and young people is just as important as their physical health. Children can feel isolated, unhappy, have eating disorders and self-harm; some tragically take their own lives.
Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.
Self-harm is generally a way of coping with overwhelming emotional distress. Children who hurt themselves often feel that physical pain is easier to deal with than the emotional pain they are experiencing. This only provides temporary relief and fails to deal with the underlying issues.
If you think your child may be hurting themselves talk to them, do not be cross or judge them. Offer them your time and attention to talk to you. You may find they are being bullied or are worried about school, or about becoming an adult. With your help you can overcome their problems together. Speak to the school nurse who may suggest you see your GP who may make an appointment with a healthcare professional who can help.