One teenager's experience of hurting herself and a system struggling with rising demand from ever-younger children.
Sarah (not her real name) first deliberately hurt herself at the age of 11 and continued for more than six years, twice ending up in hospital. Now 18 and on the road to recovery, she says her experience shows the shortcomings in how teachers, parents, and the health system respond to self-harm.
File on 4 analysis of hospital admissions for self-harm reveals a system under growing pressure as more and more pre-teens are hurting themselves so badly they need a hospital bed. In telling Sarah’s story, we look at what works and what doesn’t when it comes to supporting children who self-harm. Why are ever-younger children ending up in hospital after injuring themselves? What has been the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic self-harm? And what was it that finally helped Sarah turn a corner?
Reporter: Dan Whitworth
Producer: Simon Maybin
Editor: Maggie Latham