New method to help youths who hurt themselves

A new, shorter method of offering counsel to youth who physically harm themselves may help the four out of ten Swedish youths who say they have tried it.

Studies have suggested that up to 40 percent of high school students in Sweden have tried to hurt themselves, including cutting, at some point. But because the counseling on offer is often long and tedious, there tend to be long queues to get help.

In one study conducted among Swedish high school students in 2012, upwards of 40 percent said they had tried it, and 12 percent said they had injured themselves five times or more during the past six months, reports Swedish Radio.

But a new treatment method that offers help quicker might help slow the trend. The new treatment is modeled on a program from the United States in which kids attend group therapy sessions for two hour every week and then are given assignments to work on at home.

The program was tested in 14 places in Sweden last year and will be used by more therapists across the country beginning this autumn.

Lise-Lott Risö Berglind manages a learning center for mental health in Västra Götaland county.

"We hope this can be a method for detecting things earlier, right from the school nurses and youth clinics that are struggling with and meeting these patients to a great extent," she told Swedish Radio news.