Self-harm and suicide are toriously difficult to talk about and can provoke strong emotional responses in those who work with vulnerable children and young people. But when research shows that on average two children in every classroom self-harm and one young person tries to take their life every half an hour, it is imperative that staff kw how to respond effectively. This guide emphasises the importance of ackwledging attitudes about self-harm and suicide and encourages the reader to reflect on how these attitudes can impact on their work with young people. As well as exploring key facts and research to help raise awareness, it also provides guidance on developing local youth suicide prevention guidelines and support within local areas and organisations. The guide is underpinned by a framework of reflective practice and a basic application of theories from Transactional Analysis. Readers are encouraged to reflect on their responses to the learning and to apply this awareness to their work with children and young people.
Jude Sellen has worked in the health and social care field since 1982 where she has primarily focused on meeting the mental health needs of children, young people and their carers. Jude is an accredited social worker and a trainee Transactional Analysis psychotherapist. Since 2002 Jude has worked as an independent young people's mental health adviser and trainer. She currently runs one and two-day bespoke mental health training courses for frontline staff across the UK. Jude has been involved in supporting the development of local self-harm protocols and youth suicide prevention strategies in various regions. She has extensive experience in strategic commissioning and acts as a consultant to local areas to support multi-agency child and adolescent mental health services commissioning arrangements.