A recent report by the Children’s Society has identified that over a fifth of girls aged 14 has self-harmed, with this figure rising to almost half of children in cases where the individual was attracted to either people of both or the same gender. This follows data released by the NHS that the number of girls under the age of 18 admitted for self-harm to hospital has almost doubled in two decades between 1997-2017. The Children’s Society report identified that issues related to how one looks, gender stereotypes and sexuality were drivers behind such behaviour.
In response, the Department of Health said it is investing an extra £300m to provide more mental health help in schools – including trained staff.
It is deeply saddening that such a large number of children feel so aggrieved and unable to deal with problems that they turn to harming themselves physically. Unfortunately, it is not entirely surprising to see children respond with distress in an attempt to come to terms with the expectations a secular liberal society places upon them.
Girls have long been made to feel insecure about their physical appearance, based upon a society that exploits female sexuality, to sell anything from toiletries to cars, and for the gratification of men.
Additional pressures are being faced by both boys and girls as they attempt to come to terms with a society that is rapidly discarding long-held taboos across time and place – related to gender and sexuality – based on nothing other than the promotion of ideologically-driven secular liberal policies.
Both children and adults are being forced by secular liberals, backed by the power of state, to live their lives according to a disastrous societal vision set out by liberalism: where certainties held over millennia about the nature of men and women, relationships between genders and expectations or goals of one’s life driven by theistic beliefs across the world, are demolished.
Such an increase in problems of self-harm and the worsening of mental health crises cannot be dealt as a psychological or medical issue alone, but needs to be addressed at a conceptual level, wherein lies the core of the problem. It is the values and goals promoted by liberalism, unrealistic in origin and degrading to the individual, which need to be addressed and the whimsical ambiguity promoted by liberalism removed.
Islam provides clear guidance on all areas of societal affairs in order to maintain the happiness of the individual in a healthy manner whilst promoting cohesion and stability in society. The roles of men and women are clearly defined in a series of divinely allocated duties and rights, with the objective for both genders being to seek the pleasure of Allah (ﷻ). Men and women are valued for the righteousness of their character rather than their material attributes, which removes the pressure of unrealistic expectations related to beauty and body image so prevalent in secular liberal societies.
Additionally, great emphasis is placed upon a wide family unit rather than the restricted nuclear family or increasingly atomised individual lives people find themselves living, with no-one to readily turn to for support in times of need.
Liberalism continues to promote havoc in the lives of people, including the most vulnerable in society. Until its concepts are tackled at source, no amount of government spending will be able to heal the damage it is causing.