Self-injury (or self-harm) Awareness Day (SIAD) takes place on 1st March every year. The event aims to reduce stigma surrounding self-harm and let those who self-harm know there is help and support out there so they do not suffer in silence. This is an opportunity to explore the role we all play in helping young people and families affected by this issue.
In support of SIAD, the Greenwich Safeguarding Children Board (GSCB) is launching today a campaign to help parents, carers and professionals understand what self-harm is, what support is available and how they can help young people.
There is evidence that self-harming is affecting an increasing number of children and at a younger age than ever before. It is concerning that so many young people are using self-harm as a way to deal with difficulties and that many are suffering in silence. It is important for young people to receive support and have somebody to talk to. Unfortunately many young people don’t know where to go for help. Through this campaign we aim to make them aware that there is help available, that they can access a range of resources online or contact local and national agencies to receive the support they need. That’s why we are supporting Self Injury Awareness Day and we urge everyone to do the same.
As part of this campaign we have developed an information and advice hub, hosted on the GSCB website here. The hub will enable parents/carers, schools, social workers, health professionals and young people to easily access a variety of local and national support services. The updated GSCB Self-harm protocol for professionals is also available on our website.
We hope you will support the campaign and help us reach as many young people, parents/carers and professionals as possible. There are a number of ways in which you could help with this:
· Highlighting the campaign via your website, email, newsletter, and events
· Embedding the link (http://www.greenwichsafeguardingchildren.org.uk/selfharm) to our information hub on your website or other relevant publications
· Taking time to have a discussion with young people, parents and carers you work with (see links to lesson plans and tips on our website)
· Ensuring that you and your colleagues are aware of signs that a young person is self-harming and how to respond. The GSCB has produced a multi-agency protocol and also provides training on this.
· Printing and displaying posters in your organisation
· Ordering and distributing postcards about self-harm. These are ideal for schools, youth centres and GP surgeries - anywhere they may be found by young people, family members and friends needing to know more.
· Handing out fact sheets about self-harm. You can find some examples here, on this website , here and here. There are fact sheets for parents, friends, healthcare workers, teachers, employers etc.
· Including an article in your organisation’s newsletter or holding an event for staff, volunteers or young people.
· Show your support by wearing orange clothes/wrist band and encouraging others to do the same (orange is the colour for self-harm awareness)
· Hold an event for staff, volunteers or young people.
Tell us what you plan to do.
Please complete this short online form to let the GSCB know what relevant activities you plan during 1st – 15th March.
We hope you will support the campaign by ensuring that the resources we have put together are shared with children, young people and families that you work with.
Finally, we would very much welcome any feedback or comments that you have on the campaign and any suggestions that you have for taking these issues forward.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.