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Understanding Self-Harm

Understanding Self-Harm

Identifying, understanding and helping someone who may be having a mental health issue.

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How is self-harm linked to suicide?

In research and reporting, self-harm is sometimes called self-injury, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) or self-injurious behaviour (SIB). The important difference between this behaviour and suicidal behaviour is that self-harm does not represent an intention to die. 

Often, self-harm can be a coping mechanism which may make a person feel better about a range of things like overwhelming emotions or depression. 

Exploring and trying to understand this complicated relationship, as well as learning about helpful ways to respond, is crucial in ensuring that individuals who self-harm can be connected with the appropriate resources.  

Course information

This course has been designed with professionals in mind. While it may be appropriate for family members or friends of people who self-harm, it will include discussions and descriptions of methods of self-harm and suicide. Please consider if this is suitable for you.

The course is focused on education and awareness with emphasis on experiential learning and participation. This includes pair, group and team work as well as whole group discussion.

The course aims to create a safe and effective learning environment. 

Key features:

  • Explore and discuss attitudes and preconceptions toward self-harm
  • Analyse the dynamic, purpose and function of self-harm
  • Learn about causes and triggers
  • Identify helpful and unhelpful responses to self-harm, what cycles of self-harm can look like and how to suggest alternative coping methods
  • Examine possible organisational and clinical responses
  • Each participant receives a resource pack with further learning materials and information about support resources


3.5 hours


Online or in person


Max 22
Private courses can be booked for organisations

Who is it for?

Professionals who work with individuals who self-harm,  particularly:

Paramedics, doctors, nurses and medical staff

Pastoral care workers

Community workers

Psychologists and therapists

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Upcoming Understanding Self-Harm courses

Courses below are for individual learners. please Contact Us if you represent a larger group or organisation. 

Did you know 1 in 5 people will have suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives?

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