Suicide and Self Harm

Any child or young person who self-harms or expresses thoughts about this or about suicide must be taken seriously and appropriate help and intervention should be offered at the earliest point. Any practitioner, who is made aware that a child or young person has self-harmed, or is contemplating this or suicide, should talk with the child or young person without delay.

Young Minds, the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust and the Royal College of Psychiatrists have created a series of films and digital resource packs on self-harm. These have been created with the help of children and young people, parents and professionals - Young Mindsthis external link will open in a new window

Guidance for professionals working with children and young people who self-harm

This guidance aims to help you identify what to do, who to contact and where to get help when you have concerns about self-harm in children and young people.  Self-harm can occur in childhood but it becomes increasingly common from early adolescence; for this reason, this guidance uses the term 'young people' as shorthand.

Please see Guidance for professionals working with children and young people who self-harm (PDF)this external link will open in a new window

This guidance includes useful links to sources of best practice, advice, information and support.  Please refer to page 12 of the guidance.

About this guidance

This guidance has been developed by a multi-agency group consisting of Cumbrian GPs, teachers, early help practitioners, Child and Adolescent Mental health professionals, staff from acute hospitals, public health doctors and members of third sector organisations.  This group worked together over a period of months in response to feedback from local children and young people, their parents, professionals, and external inspections that had identified the need for a Cumbrian multi-agency pathway for self-harm.

The multi-agency pathway is an integral part of the whole system model to ensure the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people.  The pathway development group reports to the Cumbria Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health of Children and Young People Partnership Group, itself accountable to the Cumbria Children's Trust Board.  It aims to be flexible and responsive to other work underway to implement the whole system model.  It will be piloted over the coming months, and reviewed initially at 6 monthly intervals as the system evolves.

Meeting your training needs

This self-harm guidance is one of several measures being taken across the 'whole system' to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people in Cumbria.  Workforce development is another key element.

The training programme that accompanies this guidance will include, at level one, the self-harm and risky behaviour module of the MindEd e-learning packagethis external link will open in a new window.  Please contact Apprenticeship and School Development Team schooldevelopment@cumbria.gov.uk for schools and Juliet.Gray@cemind.org for the community for further details about the training programme.

Information and guidance following bereavement through suicide

Child Bereavement UKthis external link will open in a new window

Winstons Wishthis external link will open in a new window

Help is at Hand

Samaritans Step by Stepthis external link will open in a new window

Euregenas Suicide Prevention Intervention and Postventionthis external link will open in a new window

Other useful sources of information and guidance

Papyrus supports young people, parents/carers and professionals, to prevent young suicide.  The website provides useful resources and guidance including information on internet safety http://hopelineuk.org.uk/more/publicationsthis external link will open in a new window

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