My child harmed themselves, what do I do in a crisis?

My child harmed themselves, what do I do in a crisis?

Traffic light: Self harm

Stay alert:

Marks on my child’s arms, what should I do?

Take steps:

My child’s cutting is getting worse and there are a lot of fresh wounds, what should I do?

Emergency:

My child has a big cut, the bleeding stopped, but I think they need stitches

Stay calm and say that you noticed the marks and ask them how they are feeling, would they like to talk? Stay calm and be supportive, kind and understanding. Listen and make them feel they are not alone Take your child to A & E and if your child refuses, call 111
Be supportive and caring and listen Suggest seeking help Stop the bleeding if there is active bleeding by applying pressure till the bleeding has stopped, but even though it stopped, if the wound is deep or big, it will need medical intervention and hence it is essential to go to A & E
Don’t worry if they are defensive, it is a normal reaction Contact your GP and ask for a referral to CAMHS or private child and mental health specialist At A & E your child is also likely to be seen by an emergency CAMHS worker who will be able to do an assessment in terms of their risk and will be able to advise with regards to further management.
Ask them what help they need from you If your child is reluctant to attend the appointment, then attend it yourself
Ask them if they would like you to take them to the GP or other professional for help

Based on MindEd

Resources to help prevent crisis:

  • Safety plan which you can draw up with your child (See below)
  • Contact the practice manager in Stepping Stones clinic to get our “Coping Skills for Emotional Emergencies App” that your child could download to help him/her cope
  • Alternatives to self harm (see below)
  • Basic first aid in self help

Safety plan:

https://www.minded.org.uk/families/course/assets/b0f6df6e0d0a3a252815cf8c713856ad7e557662.pdf

Alternatives to self harm:

https://www.minded.org.uk/families/course/assets/2ebe4aa029d51289808a1a10c0033164c73609e5.pdf

Advice for friends, families and carers:

https://www.minded.org.uk/families/course/assets/a4ec93ca8609ffa10b4a2e14522d886b3d235418.pdf

Self harm – First aid:

https://www.minded.org.uk/families/course/assets/1761058d506f4f41693259390c1fd9ac63626214.pdf