CASES of self-harming among teenage girls have shot up by two-thirds in just three years, a study reveals.
Experts warn increased levels of pressure and stress from social media use may be fuelling a rise in mental health issues.
Reports of self-harm among girls aged from 13 to 16 rose by 68 per cent between 2011 and 2014, researchers found. Among boys of the same age the rise was 52 per cent.
The statistics from GPs’ surgeries found three-quarters of self-harm cases among those aged ten to 19 were girls.
Yet less than half were referred for mental health treatment — with teens living in poorer areas the least likely to get specialist help.
Researcher Nav Kapur of Manchester University said: “Social media can be helpful in preventing self-harm but can have negative effects.”
Tom Madders of charity YoungMinds, said: “Teenage girls face a wide range of pressures, including school stress, body image issues, bullying and that created by social media.”
The NSPCC, which runs the free Childline service, said the figures were “sadly unsurprising”.
Experts also found teens who had self-harmed were nine times more likely to die young compared to other youngsters.
And they were also 17 times more likely to die by suicide.