Understanding Self-harm in Young People

Course overview:

This one day course will explore the many types, causes and functions of self-harm in young people. Treatment pathways and therapeutic approaches are highlighted alongside options for effective self-care. The course goes on to explore the imapct of others’ responses to self-harm, how we might balance confidentiality, safeguarding and risk and ends with practical suggestions for supporting an individual in a safe, effective and comapssionate way.

Course content:

  • What is self-harm?
  • Different forms of self-harm
  • How common is self-harm in young people?
  • Individual and group risk factors
  • Why might a young person self-harm?
  • Myths surrounding self-harm
  • Multiple causes and functions of self-harm of self-harm in young people
  • What is the cycle of self-harm?
  • Why it can be hard to stop self-harming
  • Is self-harm a mental health condition?
  • What is Non suicidal Self Injury (NSSI)?
  • What is the relationship between self-harm and suicide?
  • Are young people who self-harm at increased risk of other mental health problems
  • The importance of our attitude and responses to disclosure of self-harm in young people
  • Assessing and managing risk and self-harm
  • Responses to differing levels of risk
  • When and how self-harming may become a safeguarding (child protection) issue
  • Confidentiality versus reporting of self-harming in young people
  • Are there effective therapies for young people who self-harm?: reviewing the evidence
  • What is harm minimization and is it an appropriate response to self-harm in young people?
  • Helping young people to generate safe alternatives to self-harm
  • What young people tell us about their preferred sources of support
  • Resources for young people, parents/carers and staff


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