'Self-harm figures deeply worrying' - Flynn
Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn has said self-harm is a growing problem in today’s society and services currently provided need to be looked at to assess how they best help young people.
The party’s Mental Health spokesperson was commenting after a study revealed that nearly one in four girls aged 14 self-harmed in the past year.
Órlaithí Flynn said:
“The levels of young people and children who are unhappy to the extent they are self-harming is deeply concerning.
“Self-harm is a growing problem within our society, particularly in our schools and universities, young people today face more stress and social pressures placed on them than in previous generations.
“Issues around body image and social media posts showing distorted and photo-shopped images is playing a damaging role on the mental and physical health of our young people.
“All in society, including political leaders, must look at the impact the denial of rights does to those who are marginalised in our communities, such as the LGBT+ community.
“I recently met school principals with Karen Mullan MLA and it’s clear that many schools, teachers and families feel under prepared to offer support and forced to work within their means.
“We need to look at the services we provide and in what way they help young people.
“We should be doing as much as possible to help our struggling young people become better equipped to deal with the pressures they face.
“We need to wake up within health care as our CAMHS services are severely under pressure. But I want to provide hope to individuals, families and communities.
“There is help out there and I would encourage everyone who is suffering with self-harm issues to seek it out, this help can be accessed at www.helplinesnetworkni.com. Don’t suffer in silence.”