This guidance has been produced for everyone who engages directly with children and young people in their day to day work and who may become aware of a young person’s, risk of self-harm, actual self-harm or suicidal thoughts or intentions.
The purpose of this guidance is to:
o Ensure that the wider children’s workforce has an understanding of the process to be followed in Greenwich, where concerns about possible risk of self-harm and/or suicide exist.
o Ensure the wider workforce feels more confident to identify young people at risk, including the risk of self-harm/ suicide, and to share information when action may be required to protect a child or young person.
o Support professionals to feel more confident where they have a role in the implementation of a coordinated multi-agency Safety Plan or Risk Management Plan following identification of self-harm.
o Develop a shared language which supports effective information sharing o Provide tools for practitioners to support the early identification of risk
o Provide information about the respective roles of the services and referral criteria. As well as managing self-harm, professionals also deal with other mental health crisis which can be equally difficult to predict but warrant a crisis management plan and active management.
This document will focus on self-harm, warning signs, strategies to help deescalate, resources and how to create a safety plan.
This guidance can also be used to support the management of mental health crisis as responses to both are often very similar. Information on communication and advocacy skills for families is included along with a sample crisis plan with the team around the child.
The term child is used throughout the document and refers to both children and adolescents, up to the age of 18 years old.