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Call for more research to prevent children self-harming

Australia urgently needs to fund more research to understand why increasing numbers of children are engaging in self-harm and suicidal behaviour, according to a report by the National Children’s Commissioner.

In her report, Megan Mitchell said that in 2012 and 2013 the only national 24 hour counselling service for children, Kids Helpline, dealt with more than 80,000 contacts from children and young people, aged from 5 to 17 years.

She said just over 11,000 of those contacts were assessed by counsellors as involving suicidal thoughts. The number of individuals involved increased from 5,451 in 2012 to 5,729 in 2013.

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