Self Harm

What is Self-Harm?

Self-harm is an expression of personal distress, not an illness, and there are many varied reasons for a person to harm him or herself. Self-harm describes a wide range of behaviours that someone does to themselves, usually in a deliberate and private way, and without suicidal intent, resulting in non-fatal injury. In the majority of cases, self-harm remains a secretive behaviour that can go on for a long time without being discovered.

Many children and young people may struggle to express their feelings and will need a supportive response to assist them to explore their feelings and behaviour and the possible outcomes for them.

Liverpool’s multi-agency self-harm practice guidance has been developed as a reference guide for all agencies and practitioners who come into contact with children, young people and their families. It is intended as a guide to supporting children/ young people who have thoughts of, are about to or have self-harmed.

The multi-agency self-harm practice guidance will support practitioners to keep children safe by outlining:

  • What self-harm is;
  • The triggers for self-harm; and
  • How to support children and young people who self-harm.

Agencies and practitioners must refer to the Liverpool levels of need framework to help them decide the level of need and the most appropriate assessment and interventions including early help and referral to Children’s Social Care. Where there are serious or complex needs or where there are safeguarding concerns, practitioners should consult with their designated lead for safeguarding and, where appropriate, make a referral to Children’s Social Care or initiate an Early Help Meeting to coordinate support.

Download the guidance document below >

PDF version Liverpool Self Harm Guidance and Toolkit 2021

Liverpool Multi-Agency Self Harm Guidance and Toolkit 2021 - word version

Self-harm toolkit - downloadable resources

Additional Resources

ROAR Handbook Calm Box Blank

ROAR Handbook Calm Box Ready Made

ROAR ‘I think that…’

ROAR ‘My stress scale’

ROAR ‘Bottling up my feelings 1

ROAR ‘Bottling up my feelings 2

ROAR Signs 

ROAR Resilience