Self-harm in adolescents is common and is increasing. It can present to professionals as a symptom of major mental health disturbance or it can form part of a cultural ‘norm’. This article reviews current knowledge about self-harm in 12- to 18-year-olds. Definitions of self-harming behaviour, epidemiological and aetiological factors, risk assessment and management of self-harming in various settings are discussed in terms of pragmatic clinical approaches and evidence-based practice.
- © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2009