Self harm is when someone decides to take out their problems toward themselves in a deliberate way. Some people may only ever self harm once in their lifetime but some people do continue throughout their life until they seek help to deal with their issues. Many people find it to be a way that helps them deal with problems and it becomes the norm when dealing with stress.
Recent research has suggested that 1 in 10 teenagers aged 15 – 16 years old have self harmed. No one knows what the root cause is for self harming due to so many different people that self harm. Self harming could be a way that people feel they can block out pain from a previous experience that has happened to them but also some people self harm to deal with the stresses of life, hence why so many young people might self harm because they don’t know how to deal with life in a productive way and find it hard to seek help because they might feel embarrassed or that something is wrong with them. Some people who self harm sometimes go on to commit suicide but generally people find another way to deal with their problems.
Recent research shows that young people who self harm tend to learn how to deal with their problems in a different way in adulthood but some people don’t and if this is the case the NHS or GP would refer the individual to a mental health professional. This could be with a Counsellor, Psychiatrist or Psychologist. The Hospital has a fantastic serviced called CCHP which stands for Community Children’s Health Partnership which has a team called CAMHS who support children, young people, their families and carers during crisis situations, providing risk assessments, coping strategies and identifying support systems. These are just small examples that the government has realised that self harm is a very serious problem and they do have systems active to try and prevent and deal with people who self harm.
I strongly believe that more could be done to help prevent young people self harming especially students, and for the staff to have more self harm awareness. When I was at university I was constantly under pressure to try and make sure I get good grades and manage my financial budget. Loads of students wouldn’t know how to deal with the stresses of university and a lot of students turned to drinking, drugs and self harming and from what I remember there wasn’t much information in regards to dealing with stress at university. They did have services to help students with various problems but due to the amount of young people that self harm I believe that if students had to attend a compulsory lecture from a NHS professional discussing self harm or dealing with stress then students would know more about different ways to deal with the stresses of university and life. A lot of students study away from home and it is the first time that they are away from their families and this means learning to deal with the general problems of life, sometimes in isolation, as well as having to focus on attaining good grades. This can be a very lonely time for students and especially if they find it hard to make friends or have financial problems. I knew of students that self harmed and you wouldn’t have guessed that they self harmed. Sometimes it’s the people that you don’t expect that are the ones you should expect.
Marlon W Powell (BA), Graduate