Self-harm is a significant public health issue among young people, both in Australia and worldwide . Internationally, it is estimated that 16–18% of people will experience self-harm at some point in their lives and recent findings show that approximately one in ten Australian adolescents have self-harmed.
Significantly higher rates of self-harm occur in a number of sub-populations, including young women, young people experiencing mental ill-health, LGBTIQ young people, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people. This may be due to an increased risk of experiencing victimisation, discrimination, marginalisation, and bullying. However, as many young people who self-harm actively conceal their injuries and do not access help from health services, it’s difficult to estimate the true number of young people who engage in self-harm.