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Study: Self-harm is on the rise among teens

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Oct 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-24 18:06:51-04

According to a new study, each year one in five females and one in seven males engage in self-injury. 90% of those people begin in their teenage years. 

Karl Shallowhorn, Director of Community Advocacy at the Mental Health Association of Erie County and Compeer Buffalo, says self-harm is at a 40 year high. 

Behaviors linked to self harm include:

- anxiety,

- depression, and 

- emotional instability

Contributing factors include:

- Drug and alcohol abuse, 

- Past history with trauma, and 

- Online habits 

"People feel isolated, you know it's supposed to be social media but it's often time not. It seems like it's almost antisocial," he said.

Shallowhorn says teens online use is one of the main factors in self-harm.

"We know that early intervention is really important so if a parent or anyone for the matter sees something that seems unusual, make a note of it," Shallowhorn said. "Ask that person are you okay? Is there something that I could do?"

On any given day, teens spend up to nine hours using media, whether that's on the phone, online, or watching TV. 

Shallowhorn also says parent involvement is more important now than ever. He suggest parents download apps that allow them to monitor their child's online use.