One in ten teens self-harm, reveals mental health survey

A NEW report has revealed alarming statistics surrounding self-harm, suicide and depression rates among young Australians.

The National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing selected more than 6000 families and youths aged 4-17 at random to participate in the program.

The survey found as many as one in 10 teenagers, or about 186,000, had engaged in some form of self-harm in their life, including a quarter of teenage girls aged 16-17.

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It revealed one in 13 young people aged 12-17 had also contemplated suicide, the equivalent of 128,000 youth, with one in 20 reportedly making a plan to take their own life and one in 40 attempting it.

But the report found the number of young Australians seeking help had doubled compared with 15 years ago - the last time a similar survey was undertaken.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said on Friday the findings were confronting, sad and shocking.

"As a parent it is heartbreaking to see these prevalent stories of depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal tendencies amongst our young people," she said.

"But it is also a credit to young Australians, and society as a whole, that so many youths are now not only bravely opening up about their emotions and behaviours, they are actively seeking out help and taking positive actions to manage them."

Ms Ley said the government was working with the mental health sector and the states and territories on significant, long-term reform of the mental health sector and the way services and outcomes are delivered.