The term ‘self-harm’ is used to describe behaviours where a person intentionally injures or causes harm to themselves; these behaviours may include self-injury (such as cutting, bruising or burning) or self-poisoning (such as taking too many tablets). Self-harm is often described as a way of coping with or expressing emotional distress or overwhelming built-up tension.
How to recognise self-harm?
Physical: Unexplained cuts, bruises or burns, keeping themselves covered (e.g., wearing long clothing in hot weather), signs of scratching or pulling their hair; such as redness
Emotional: Withdrawn, low mood, tearfulness, lack of motivation, low self-esteem, experiencing guilt or shame in relation to self-injury
What can teachers do to support young people who self-harm?
When taking steps to support a young person who may be self-harming, remember to be CLEAR:
Check for self-harm (or suicidal thoughts and intentions)