Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Self-harm rates are a legacy of Troubles

One in 10 adolescents in Northern Ireland self-harms, new research has revealed.

Past exposure to years of conflict and the emergence of social media are new associated risk factors, according to a study.

Bullying, sexual, physical, alcohol and drug abuse have also been blamed. Rates of mental disorders are among the highest in Europe.

The findings emerged when 3,595 school children were surveyed in the first study of its kind to ascertain the prevalence and factors linked to self-harm.

The research was headed up by Prof Rory O'Connor at the University of Glasgow and funded by the Northern Ireland Department of Health and published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Alongside exposure to the Troubles and social media, established factors such as bullying, history of sexual and physical abuse, concerns about sexual orientation and drug and alcohol use were also associated with self-harm.

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