I know I often write about sex and Sloanes, but in the August issue of Tatler I’ve written a piece about the growing epidemic of self-harm in British schools. I could go into stats, but I do that in the article – so please go out and buy it, you cheapskates.
Suffice to say here, the numbers are rising while the ages are dropping. When I left a girls’ boarding school 12 years ago, any mental health education centred on eating disorders. Most teenagers I talked to for the piece said this largely remains the case, with self-harm being ‘ignored’ so as not to be alarmist, or because of the social stigma surrounding it. It’s understandable to have a daughter who wants to be thinner, was the gist from one 17-year-old. But cutting her thighs? ‘Oh no, my daughter couldn’t possibly be doing that.’
I just wanted to flag up here how grateful I am to all those who talked to me about the issue, and to say I’m especially indebted to a wonderful man called Will Napier. Will is a psychologist who treats a number of problems via a number of ways, and who I talked to at length about self-harm. If I had a child or friend who was struggling with it, or with life in general, he’s the person I’d ring*. Find him HERE.
*I’m not saying this because he’s bribed me. Honest. I just happen to know that finding the right person to talk to about these things can be a long path, and he is a nifty shortcut.