Why kids cut and what we can do about it
October 18, 2013
Dr. Janis Whitlock, director of the Cornell Program on Self-Injury and Recovery in the BCTR, wrote a recent post on the New York Center for Rural Schools blog. Speaking the soul: Why kids cut and what we can do about it lays out some facts about self-injury and what schools, specifically, can do to evaluate and help students who self injure. An excerpt from the blog post:
An estimated one in five school and college age youth have intentionally cut, burned, carved, bruised, or otherwise injured their bodies without the intention of committing suicide. Indeed, lifetime rates of self-injury in adolescents (estimates range from 13% to 25%) qualify as an epidemic.
But why? Those of us who came of age before bodies became billboards and canvasses for artistic and self expression often have trouble understanding why anyone would deliberately cut their bodies up. If I had a research dollar for every adult whose jaw has hit the ground and whose eyes grow wide at the mere mention of the behavior, we would be able to answer many of the outstanding questions that remain.