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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Teenage girls self-harm warning
Bullied girl
Figures show a fifth of teenage school girls self harm
As many as a fifth of teenage schoolgirls have self-harmed, according to new research.

Scientists questioned more than 2,000 pupils in Stirling and Glasgow, most aged 15 and 16, and found one in five girls have self-harmed in the past.

The Stirling University study found the figure for boys was 7%.

More than 300 delegates are gathering in Glasgow to discuss ways of reducing Scotland's suicide rate, currently the highest in the UK.

Researcher Dr Rory O'Connor will present his findings at the conference.

His study of school pupils found that key factors for those inflicting self-harm included drug use and concerns over bullying, physical abuse and sexual orientation.

Text messages

The self-harm victims were significantly more depressed, more anxious and impulsive and had lower self-esteem, he discovered.

Delegates in Glasgow will also learn about suicide prevention innovations including a text message service for people feeling suicidal, operated by the charity Samaritans.

Since it launched in April last year, the charity said it has had 200,000 text messages from about 5,000 individuals.

A study carried out for the Scottish Government found the number of men committing suicide increased by 22% between 1989 and 2004.

During the period the suicide rate among Scottish men was 30 per 100,000 compared with 22.4 in Wales, 18.3 in Northern Ireland and 16.7 in England.

Depressed woman
The study found victims often suffered from low self esteem

For Scots women the rate was 10 per 100,000 compared with 5.4 in England, six per 100,000 for Wales and 5.6 in Northern Ireland.

Public Health Minister Shona Robison will be among the speakers at the event, which is funded by Choose Life, the Scottish Government's 10-year national strategy to reduce the suicide rate.

The minister said: "We know that suicide occurs in all ages from young people to those in later life, and across all sectors of Scottish society.

"We are calling for collective action on many fronts - by agencies, communities, neighbourhoods, families and work colleagues - to contribute to this area of work.

"This conference is a perfect platform for blending a range of different perspectives in order that we can strengthen our knowledge and base future practice on the best available evidence."

'I was there in the hour of need'
09 Mar 07 |  Scotland
Male suicide figures on increase
07 Mar 07 |  Scotland
Scots suicide rate highest in UK
30 Aug 06 |  Scotland

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