In this section
Surveys conducted at the Centre for Adolescent Health indicate
that approximately 5% of young people engage in self harming
Females are more likely than males to engage in self-harming
behaviours, and young people have higher rates of deliberate
self-harm than adults.
Australian studies have found that between 23.5% and 49% of
teenagers have thoughts of suicide at some time.
Research indicates that the scope for the prevention of youth
suicide is broad, should occur within a developmental context and
should take into account not just individual characteristics of a
young person such as emotional well being but also risk factors
which derive from important social environments such as school, the
family and the community. There is a need for a continuum of
interventions. Some risk factors for youth suicide such as
antisocial behaviour, poor family cohesion and parental mental
health issues are evident from early childhood. Others including
academic failure, school drop-out, depressive symptoms and
substance abuse become manifest in later childhood and adolescence.
However, some risk factors are even more proximal eg suicidal
behaviour and stressful life events. If you think a young person is
suicidal, you should inform the person's parents, guardians or
school counsellor and they should act immediately to ensure his or
her safety. The management of an acutely suicidal person is an