VDH: Youth self-harm incidents on the rise

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 3:59 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Experts say self harm among youth in Virginia is on the rise.

The Virginia Department of Health has a new report out discussing data on self harm and suicide.

Self harm is defined as anything a person does with the intent to hurt or cause injury to themselves. This includes death.

“Suicide and self harm are just really complex social issues,” VDH Suicide Prevention Coordinator Justin Wallace said. “Self harm hospitalizations for female youth - and certainly guns being noted as one of the most common causes of youth death - are some of the trends that we’re we’re looking at.”

For ages 9 to 18, 74% of self harm hospitalizations from 2015-2021 were female. However, 71% of all death by suicides were by males.

“Here really is an interest in making sure that we’re addressing self harm as it relates to youth who are particularly female. I think we’re seeing some trends in that area that we really are focusing our attention on,” Wallace said.

Click here for a link to the full report.

If you are contemplating self harm you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255. You can also text the Crisis Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741741.

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