Self-Harm and Suicidality in Children and Adolescents

  • Sophie EpsteinEmail author
  • Dennis Ougrin
Living reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)


Self-harm is defined as any act of self-injury or self-poisoning regardless of intent. Suicidality includes suicidal self-harm as well as suicidal thoughts and plans. Self-harm is common, with 10–20% of young people reporting having harmed themselves before the age of 18. Self-harm is by no means always an act with suicidal intent, and the relationship between these two phenomena is complex. However, self-harm is the strongest single risk factor for completed suicide which is the second most common cause of death in young people aged 10–24. This chapter provides a short summary of self-harm and suicidality in young people and its prevalence and risk factors, prevention, assessment, and management. Links to additional material are also provided.


Self-harm Suicide Child and adolescent mental health 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and NeuroscienceKing’s College London, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Eric Taylor
    • 1
  • John CM Wong
    • 2
  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, Institute of PsychiatryKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Psychological MedicineNational University Health SystemSingaporeSingapore

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