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There has been a big increase in the number of young people being admitted to hospital because of self-harm.

School staff are well placed to spot the warning signs and provide support to lower level cases but many school staff report a lack of confidence, little understanding of self-harm and a fear that they will do or say the wrong thing and make things worse.

This training is suitable for staff who are involved on an ongoing one-to-one basis with pupils who are self-harming. Staff benefit from first completing Unit 1 to gain a general overview, and going on to complete this unit which provides specific strategies for one-to-one support.

This course is not designed to replace external agency care where this is needed and available. These strategies are most likely to be used either with less serious cases or with pupils awaiting treatment or in-between sessions. Where a pupil is currently receiving external treatment, it’s important to liaise with their care provider in order to understand how best to support their ongoing care.

Aims and outcomes

This unit will enable participants to understand:

  • how to break the self-harm cycle
  • ideas for tackling underlying negative emotions
  • how to help pupils who self-harm to develop healthier alternatives
  • how to address normalisation.


  • How to break the self-harm cycle
  • Tailoring support
  • Tackling underlying negative emotions
  • Practical ideas
  • Developing healthier alternatives
  • Distraction techniques
  • How to address normalisation

Unit content

Unit 2: Supporting pupil recovery