New figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show a rise in the number of self-poisoning incidents with young people being admitted to Accident and Emergency departments throughout the country, with teenage girls most at risk.

Self-poisoning is a form of self-harm, where sufferers take drugs in order to harm themselves. It is not necessarily an attempt to commit suicide.

The new figures, pulled together for the BBC’s Newsbeat, show an increase of 4,500 in annual presentations at casualty in girls aged 13-19 for self-poisoning since 2010. The annual rate is about 10,000 fewer for boys of the same age, and has actually reduced over that period of time.

Dr Andrew Hill-Smith, speaking for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said that the upward trend may be due to increasing pressure on teenagers from issues including exams, appearance, social life and sexuality. He said that the rise is probably due to “a combination of increased need, an increase in raising concerns and an increased willingness to seek help”.

Doctors are particularly keen in the wake of the £1.25bn which the government announced its intention to invest in mental health last year to investigate the causes of the rise, particularly with regard to the impact of social media.