One of our missions in 2023 is protecting children & teens who are at risk for self-harm and suicidal ideation. Self-harm means injuring yourself on purpose and is often done in response to extreme emotional distress. This issue is especially common amongst young people, with statistics showing that 25% of teenagers self-harm (pennfoundation.org). It is our responsibility as mental health professionals to provide adequate care and intervention to protect our youth. Our goal at Blueskies is to provide adolescents and their caregivers with a variety of resources for prevention and intervention.
Continue reading to learn about the warning signs of self-harm and how you can help:
- Mental health issues (depression, PTSD, anxiety)
- Drug/alcohol use
- Family or social instability or isolation
- Extreme loneliness
- Frequent or unusual injuries; scratches, bruises, bites, scars, cuts, burn marks.
- Wearing long sleeves/long pants despite hot temperatures
- Impulsivity, dysregulated emotions, outbursts
- Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Excessive isolation
How to reduce the risk of self-harm:
- Encourage social connection to improve relationship skills and minimize isolating behaviors.
- Seek professional help from a mental health counselor.
- Provide alternative, healthy coping skills.
- Identify and manage triggers.
- Create a safe home environment to minimize risk factors.
If you or a loved one is struggling with self-injury or suicidal thoughts, please use the resources below –
Learn more at helpguide.org > https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/cutting-and-self-harm.htm
Crisis Text Hotline > Text 741741 to chat with a counselor at anytime
Download this guide for parents & caregivers > https://achieve.lausd.net/cms/lib/CA01000043/Centricity/domain/662/pdfs/suicide%20prevention/New%20Files/SMH_Self%20Injury%20Awareness_parent_eng.pdf
Self-harm Awareness Video > https://youtu.be/zf2DeBGizmM
Resources in Spanish > https://www.frontierhealth.org/self-harm-awareness-month/