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Nearly one in 10 young people are experiencing both persistent physical pain and suicidal feelings, according to a new paper from researchers from the University of Oxford, Cambridge, Oslo (Norway), King’s College London, and the Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Deu (Spain).

Young woman sat down by the waterside © Shutterstock

Researchers say more awareness is needed across a range of health, social care, and school-based services in how to recognise suicidal risk, especially for those who also have physical pain and are more likely to come into contact with professionals.

The data came from more than 8,000 adolescents between the ages of 11 and 15 years across the UK who took part in the My Resilience in Adolescence (MYRIAD) trial. It showed that:

  • Nine per cent of adolescents reported experiencing both persistent pain (persistent or recurrent pain in the past six months) and suicidality (ranging from thoughts about suicide and self-harm to the enactment of these thoughts).
  • They were also shown to be at a higher risk of depression, anxiety, problems with their peers and more frequent use of prescription medication.
    Nearly three quarters of the group experiencing both pain and suicidality were girls (72.9 per cent).
  • 20 per cent (one in five) of adolescents in the study reported suicidality and 22 per cent reported persistent or recurrent pain.

Read the full story on the Department of Psychiatry website

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