Self-harm, suicidal feelings and compassionate care

Wright, Karen Margaret orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0693-7294 and Wright, Caroline E. (2013) Self-harm, suicidal feelings and compassionate care. British Journal of Healthcare Assistants, 5 (8). ISSN 1753-1586

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Self-harm is an expression of pain and distress, although the reasons for self-harm may vary. It is often used as a coping mechanism and does not necessarily imply suicidal intent. Each case should be treated individually. This article describes the difficulties that can arise when working with patients who self-harm or feel suicidal and outlines possible approaches to aid recovery. It aims to enable support workers to understand the difference between self-harm and suicide, how to respond to keep patients safe and the importance of support and supervision to provide encouragement, direction and guidance.

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