Self harm

Treatment of self harm

Usually, treatment for self-harm and attempted suicide, other than any immediate physical treatment, will involve individual or family 'talking therapy' work for a small number of sessions. They will need help with how to cope with the very difficult feelings that cause self-harm.

Clear plans on how to help and how to keep the young person safe will also be made. Some people who find it very difficult to stop self-harming behaviour in the short term will need help to think of less harmful ways of managing their distress.

Families often need help in working out how to make sure that the dangerous behaviour doesn't happen again, and how to give the support that is needed. This is something your local CAMHS should have on offer.

If depression or another serious mental health problem is part of the problem, it will need treatment. Some young people who self-harm may have suffered particularly damaging and traumatic experiences in their past. A very small number of young people who try to kill themselves really do still want to die. These two groups may need specialist help over a longer period of time.

Self-harm in young people: information for parents, carers and anyone who works with young people: The Royal College of Psychiatrists