Identification 4 Facts in 4 areas
- Avoiding activities that require exposure of body.
- Wearing long sleeves even on very hot days.
- Increase in risk behaviour.
- Changes associated with mood disorders including –
• Changes in school performance
• Loss of concentration
• Absent from school more
• Lack of engagement
2. Physical Factors
- Cuts, bruises, marks – particularly if they occur frequently and in repeated areas of the body.
- Regular visits to A&E for injuries the causes of which are hard to account for.
- Appears tired and without energy or edgy and explosive.
- May present with a lot more physical illness, aches and pains, absences from school due to illness.
3. Psychological changes
- Looks sad and withdrawn.
- Less able to concentrate.
- Easily irritable and angry.
- More easily tearful.
4. Social Factors
- Friends may present with concerns.
- Withdrawal from social group or may be in a social group that self-harms.
- Not joining in any social activities especially where clothes worn may show body – for example party clothes.
- Associating with peers who may have a history of self-harm or high risk behaviours.
What can schools do?
4 suggestions for change
1. Education on self-harm. Offered by a professional in order to present an accurate but sensitive view.
2. A clear and effective system to support a student who presents with self-harm supporting peers who are part of the group.
3. A named teacher and peer supporter from a core team of trained staff and students to be available should help be needed.
4. Establish links with local services and know what the referral pathways are. Get a professional to help assess risk.