A DVD has been launched to help young people struggling with self-harm.
Why is this relevant to us and just how serious is the situation?
According to the BBC, research shows that young South-Asian women between the ages of 15 and 35 are twice as vulnerable to suicide and self-harm as non-Asian women.
Statistics show that East London has one of the biggest Asian communities in the country. Newham has the second highest proportion of Asian population in England and Wales, with the second largest proportion of Bangladeshis in England and Wales (Tower Hamlets leads in both these statistics).
Additionally, a study of young Asian women in east London by the Newham Asian Women’s Project last year revealed that domestic violence and a pressure to be the ‘perfect student’ or ‘perfect daughter’ were among the reasons for self-harm.
Is it that belonging to these communities is more stressful than others or is it
that there is less help available to them?
NAWP says young Asian women have consistently requested help on the issue of self-harm.
Professionals who work closely with them have also stated the need for better tools to use when discussing the issue, and hence the launch of the DVD.
NAWP launched the DVD, called Everybody Hurts, to address issues like why people self-harm and the support available.
NAWP also has a project called Zindaagi which is dedicated to helping Asian women in East London who are self-harming.
Certain customs in the Asian community have been known to cause the young women distress too.
A study by the mental health charity Mind says that many of the Asian women who attempt suicide do it because of cultural reasons, for example, where the young woman is apparently in disagreement with her parents’ or husband’s traditional or religious expectations.
A small organisation like NAWP may not have the capacity to address these traditions, but by launching the DVD it may be able to patch up the after-effects.
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