By Emma Nielsen. There is always a to-do list on my desk. It is usually scrawled across a scrap piece of paper, often elaborately highlighted and probably makes little sense to anyone else. But it is always there and it makes sense to me. It means that in times when I am overwhelmed or bouncing… Continue reading Does one size fit all? Adapting Safety Planning Intervention with and for autistic adults
By Kealagh Robinson. Adolescence is a critical developmental period for self-harm research and intervention. Self-injury, suicidal thoughts, and suicidal behaviours often begin during adolescence [1, 2], and adolescent self-harm predicts poorer psychological outcomes in adulthood [3, 4]. Many adolescents regularly attend secondary schools, making these pragmatic recruitment sites for adolescent research participants. Secondary schools themselves… Continue reading Tips for partnering with secondary schools to conduct self-injury and suicide research
By Holly Crudgington. What do you think of when you hear the word ‘school’? The word might have many connotations, depending on who you ask. Context matters. Personally, it brings back some fond and some difficult memories of being a teenager at a public secondary school in the UK. It’s been over 10 years since… Continue reading “I get by with a little help from my friends”: Adolescent peer friendship networks and self-harm
By Kenvil Souza. There are so many memories I have from my childhood. When I think back, I remember the pet chicken that I called “beauty” when I was in primary school. My mother let me keep her in spite of us living in a tiny flat. She would stay on the balcony, and I’d… Continue reading “There are two sides to my childhood”: Positive childhood experiences in the face of adversity
By Faraz Mughal. We all know how serious self-harm is, and self-harm in young people is no different. Recent findings using electronic general practice patient records showed an increase in self-harm recorded in general practice in young people, particularly in girls aged 13-16. In terms of healthcare utilisation: in the National Health Service young people… Continue reading Young people’s experiences of general practice for self-harm
By Grace Cully. “Because the support I had from the members of the crisis team … I had promised them that if I did feel … that I’m getting down, or I would do something … then I promised I would call somebody. Which I did the same day.”  Over the course of my… Continue reading The need for timely, comprehensive and compassionate care: Experiences of aftercare following high-risk self-harm
By Katherine Bird. Self-harm (any self-injury or -poisoning regardless of intent) is a significant public-health concern, affecting between 18.8% and 50% of young people under 25-years [1; 2]. The concern relates to the physical harm, emotional distress, and reduced mental health and wellbeing self-harm causes. Most concerningly, self-harm is the most significant predictor of death… Continue reading Examining the pathway to self-harm in high-risk youth using a novel Card Sort Task for Self-Harm (CaTS): It’s time to change how self-harm is assessed
By Bethany Cliffe. It is well-documented that mental health difficulties are highly prevalent among university students, with self-harm in particular being twice as common in this group than in the general population . The transition to university often involves moving to a new environment and leaving support networks behind, with uncertainties around how and where… Continue reading Why smartphone apps can be useful for students who self-harm
The effectiveness of an intervention is typically determined by the use of outcome measures, whether this be in research or in clinical practice. In research, outcomes allow for the determination of an intervention’s suitability for wider distribution into communities. In clinical practice, outcomes can contribute to practitioners’ understanding of service users’ wellbeing and whether it has improved or if extra support is required. Clearly, outcome measures can carry a lot of weight, so it is important that the target constructs are meaningful and relevant so that they accurately reflect the experience of ‘recovery’ for each individual.
By Katherine Brown. Support: “to give or be ready to give help to somebody if they need it”. Few would argue against the idea that those who self-harm should be given support to overcome distress and cope in more adaptive ways. But with studies suggesting that approximately half of those who self-harm do not receive… Continue reading What support is really there for those who self-harm?
By Katerina Kavalidou and Alessio Albanese. The United Nations’s refugee agency (UNHCR) has recently published an annual Global Trends Report showing that currently, nearly 79.5 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide. Whilst the majority are internally displaced (around 46 million), 26 million are refugees and 4.2 million are asylum seekers . Though often discussed together,… Continue reading Self-harm and suicide among asylum seekers and refugees: A call to researchers
By Julie Janssens. “I don’t want you to include my parents in therapy!” “I hate them!” “They don’t love me…” “They will not understand what I am going through.” “They have enough on their plate already. I don’t want to burden them with my problems.” “It is like there is a huge skyscraper between us.”… Continue reading The importance of attachment in treating and investigating self-harm
By John F. Gunn III. I have always had an interest in theoretical perspectives of suicide – so much so that I convinced David Lester to edit a book on the topic with me . I even attempted my own supposition on a theoretical framework some years ago . However, as I developed as a… Continue reading Suicide in Context: How Bioecological Theory Could Advance Theories of Suicide
By Jessica Leather. Psychological science has been at the centre of many people’s minds since the COVID-19 pandemic began, especially those in search of effective public health messaging and coping strategies. Recently an expert panel in psychological science highlighted mental health as a research priority, due to the shifting social conditions and economic instability resulting… Continue reading Applying Behavioural Science to Self-harm Prevention
By Hilary Norman. “We often tell people to “ask for help” to “reach out”, to “share,” but there is a paradox at play here. It’s often when you’re struggling the most that you are least able to articulate what it is you are feeling and what you need.” @white_owly It’s not always easy to put… Continue reading When you don’t have the words…
By Cheryl Hunter. Have you ever spoken to someone who lived with ongoing suicidal thoughts and feelings? How would you know for sure that you haven’t? According to a community survey, one in five people experience suicidal thoughts at some point in their lifetime, and one in fifteen people act to end their own lives.… Continue reading “The burden of telling”: how our responses can silence people who live with suicidal thoughts, feelings and acts
By Abigail Paterson. I recently completed the data collection for the first study in my PhD and when I did, I realised that this also signalled the end of my first study which asked participants about their self-harm behaviour. It was two big milestones for me in my PhD and before I begin data analysis… Continue reading Reflecting on asking about self-harm for the first time
By Kai Lim The arrival of the genomics revolution is changing many aspects of the world, including the study of psychiatry and mental health . As the cost of genotyping declines over time, more people can be recruited in genomics studies, and we will be able to understand more about the genetic risks for different… Continue reading How can genetics help us understand self-harm?
By Olivia Kirtley The lab and questionnaire-based nature of much self-harm and suicide research means that we often only have access to snapshots of participants’ experiences and behaviours. Furthermore, the chronic lack of prospective and longitudinal research in the field means we know very little about how behaviours and experiences change over time. Most often,… Continue reading Out of the lab and into everyday life: Using Experience Sampling Methods to better understand self-harm and suicide
By Elystan Roberts Everyone who has ridden the rollercoaster of pubertal development knows just how difficult it can be. Between the ages of 10 and 20, our bodies and brains undergo some of the most substantial changes of our lives. Alongside managing huge fluctuations in circulating sex hormones and fundamental neurocognitive change, we face new… Continue reading Is there an association between pubertal timing and self-harm?