Mental Health in the Workplace Level 3 (VTQ)

62 videos, 2 hours and 49 minutes

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Self harm - professionals discussion

Video 32 of 62
2 min 6 sec
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What does the term self-harm actually mean?

I think self-harm is when someone carries out an action that hurts them physically and emotionally, usually physically, in terms of they may cut, they may burn, they may pull hair out. Anything that really is harming. People often do it as sort of a medication for an anxiety, they feel that doing this makes it feel better, either it causes greater pain than the anxiety is doing in the first place, or it is the end product of a building of the anxiety and a sort of a ritual almost that they go through, and they return to it time and time again. And it is almost a comfort measure, a self-soothing measure. This is what they think will make them feel better and it becomes a habit then.

Is it typical that people who self harm may in some cases just stop themselves?

I think that can happen. More usually, people will need some help to be able to do that, maybe to identify what the original anxiety is. Or maybe to decide to walk away from that anxiety and focus on moving to the future, and moving away from whatever they are doing that is causing the harm. If you have a family member that is self-harming in any way, you may find you need to support yourself, it is quite difficult to know that someone you care for is undergoing this. And it is a good idea to seek some help for yourself, so you can talk about how it is making you feel and also get some help towards knowing how to talk to that person in a supportive way.