SELF-HARM

Self-harm is when someone injures or harms themselves on purpose as a way of coping with difficult feelings that build up inside.

sebastian muller 52 unsplash

SUPPORTING STUDENTS             MORE INFORMATION

Self-harm

  • People self-harm because they are in pain and trying to cope.
  • They could also be trying to show that something is wrong. They need to be taken seriously.
  • Self-harm is always a sign of something being seriously wrong.
  • Young people often self-harm if there is a crisis in a close relationship
  • Common examples include `overdosing' (self-poisoning), hitting, cutting or burning oneself, pulling hair or picking skin, or self-strangulation. 
  • It can also include taking illegal drugs and excessive amounts of alcohol. 

People say different things about why they self-harm

  • Some say that they have been feeling desperate about a problem and don't know where to turn for help.
  • They feel trapped and helpless. Self-injury helps them to feel more in control.
  • Some people talk of feelings of anger or tension that get bottled up inside, until they feel like exploding.
  • Self-injury helps to relieve the tension that they feel.
  • Feelings of guilt or shame may also become unbearable.
  • Self-harm is a way of punishing oneself.
  • Some people try to cope with very upsetting experiences, such as trauma or abuse, by convincing themselves that the upsetting event(s) never happened.
  • These people sometimes suffer from feelings of 'numbness' or 'deadness'.
  • They say that they feel detached from the world and their bodies, and that self-injury is a way of feeling more connected and alive.
  • A proportion of young people who self-harm do so because they feel so upset and overwhelmed by difficulties that they wish to end their lives by committing suicide.
  • Often, the decision to attempt suicide is made quickly without thinking.

Symptoms of self-harm

  • Changes in behaviour that present as the young person being upset, withdrawn or irritable. 
  • Self-injury is often kept secret but there may be clues, such as refusing to wear short sleeves or change for PE/swimming 

Help for self-harm

  • Talking to someone they trust
  • Self-help group (group formed of young people that all self-harm) 
  • CBT 
  • Psychotherapy 
  • Group therapy (lead by a professional) 

Supporting students who self-harm

jason leung 479251 unsplash

Understanding self-harm

  • Young people self-harm as a way of dealing with very difficult emotions. Try to understand their feelings of distress. 
  • Listen carefully to what a young person says do not assume you know how they feel. 
  • Try to be non-judgemental when dealing with incidents of self-harm. 
  • Help young people to think about their self-harm not as a shameful secret, but as a problem to be sorted out.

Dealing with self-harming behaviour

  • Don’t struggle with someone when they are about to self-harm – it's better to walk away and to suggest they come and talk about it rather than do it.
  • If they do decide to self-harm talk calmly and request that they take care of their immediate physical needs, e.g. clean and dress wounds. 
  • Try to understand the triggers that lead individual young people to self-harm.
  • Help them to find out about self-harm and available help by providing information by organisations such as Young Minds. 

School policy and protocols

  • Ensure all staff are informed of the school’s self-harm protocols and safeguarding policy.

A model policy for use in schools / colleges

www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Knightsmith%20Jodi%20-%20Self-Harm%20Policy.pdf

More information

 

CONTACT US

If you have any questions please email us at:

[email protected]

Disclaimer Policy

NEWSLETTER

Sign up for our NEWSLETTER

and we will keep you up to date with news and information twice a term.

TRANSLATE

en EN ar AR nl NL fr FR de DE it IT pl PL ru RU es ES

FOLLOW US

Join the conversation on our social channels.

 Twitter  

 

Twitter 128

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook 

 

Facebook 128