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Social media making UK children unhappy

Press Association logoPress Association 9/12/2016

Social media is helping fuel a nation of "deeply unhappy" children, the UK's leading children's charity has warned.

Data obtained by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) shows 18,778 children aged 11 to 18 in the UK were admitted to hospital for self-harm in 2015-16.

The number is up 14 per cent on the previous year.

Teenagers aged 13 to 17 were the most likely to end up in hospital for self-harm, including things such as cutting, overdosing on pills or burning themselves.

Figures from the Childline helpline, run by the NSPCC, also showed it delivered 18,471 counselling sessions about self-harm last year - equivalent to 50 a day.

"It is clear from the thousands of calls Childline receives that we have a nation of deeply unhappy children," said Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC.

"It is vital we confront the fact that an increasing number are struggling to deal with the pressures and demands of modern-day life, to such an extent they are inflicting terrible damage upon themselves."

He attributed part of the unhappiness to the constant pressure from social media, to have the "perfect life"or attain an often unrealistic image.

"They tell us that the need to keep up with friends and the 24/7 nature of technology means they feel they can never escape or switch off, adding to the misery that many feel on a daily basis."

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