Self-Harm in Children and Young People

Lead: Leeds South & East

Area: Leeds North, Leeds South & East, Leeds West

Period: 1st Sep 2013 - 31st Oct 2014

A co-ordinated group comprising of CAMHS, LTHT and the CCGs, formed to bring collective intelligence together and look at how we shape a future model.

It had been noted from the health experience of both Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT) that there have been increasing incidences of self-harm activity across the city. Head’s of schools and teachers are also aware of this. Schools are looking to co-operate on a wider scale rather than each developing their own response. Often they turn to school nurses and they feel out of their depth.

Due to the many agencies working across the city NHS Leeds South & East CCG felt a co-ordinated working group should be developed to ensure a joined-up approach. This group provides the forum to bring the collective intelligence together and look at how we shape a future model.

The engagement work is in the form of a patient experience project for young women between 13-19. The project is open to those who self-harm and live or go to school in Leeds. The aim, to gain further insights into self-harming behaviour and to deliver benefits for the participants themselves.

Support young people who are self-harming

It is important to recognise that it is a coping mechanism for some people. Equally, it is important to focus on supporting those for whom self-harming is likely to have serious consequences and those who wish to stop. This will comprise of collecting resources available in one place for ease of access. Thought will be given to supporting friends of young people who are self-harming.

Support for adults around young people who self-harm

This is for parents, carers, and professionals and will support them to respond appropriately to young people who are self-harming. Providing ways to enable adults to support young people to minimise harm and be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of self-harm behaviour and its escalation. This will comprise of training and development and ensuring that resources are available in one place.

A risk assessment will support suggestions and ideas on how to engage young people in conversations about self-harm.