Managing Self-Harm

Practical training resources to raise awareness and provide support for pupils who self-harm to prevent escalation

How to use this course

Each unit in this course lasts around 75 minutes. 

  • Unit one should be used with the whole school to help raise awareness.
  • Unit two should be delivered to colleagues with a pastoral focus providing targeted support for pupils. 

Author and trainer

Dr. Pooky Knightsmith

The number of teenagers who self-harm has increased threefold in the last decade. The onus has fallen on schools to identify pupils who self-harm, provide appropriate support and, where appropriate, raise concerns outside of school.

Ensuring that colleagues are trained to appropriately provide support in these cases is crucial.

  • Are you confident you know how to spot the early warning signs?
  • Do you know how to appropriately intervene?

This course – written by mental health expert Dr Pooky Knightsmith - has been designed to help you to create a whole-school awareness of self-harm and how your school can support pupils. This course will permit participants to:

  • identify self-harm: recognise cases of self-harm in pupils to allow for timely support
  • understand self-harm: create a whole school awareness of the issues surrounding self-harm to promote positive support for vulnerable pupils
  • respond to self-harm: ensure that everyone across the whole-school community is equipped to provide an informed and appropriate initial response to pupils who self-harm.

More about the author

Dr Pooky Knightsmith completed her PhD in child and adolescent mental health at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, where she specialised in developing practical strategies for supporting self-harm and eating disorders in schools and other non-clinical settings.

In addition to freelance training, speaking and writing, Pooky is currently the mental health and emotional wellbeing advisor at the PSHE Association, an associate trainer for the Charlie Waller Memorial trust, a trustee of Beat, the eating disorders charity and a trustee of the Kidstime Foundation which supports children of parents with mental health issues.  Pooky won her own battle with anorexia and self-harm in her early 20s.

After completing this course, or a unit within it, contact us to receive your certificate of attendance on training@optimus-education.com.

What other members think of this course

"We used the training module over 4 weeks in twilight sessions with all of our staff. What we found most useful was the simple message it conveyed to staff.

  • Self-harming is a coping mechanism
  • Trust your gut
  • Listen and ask – how can I help?

This was a very effective message for our staff and capped a really useful piece of CPD"

Paul Mersh, Headteacher, Pierview Academy

Certificate of completion

Completed a unit or a whole course? Complete our short survey and we will send you a certificate.