The need for the project was based on national research which shows that suicide attempts in adolescents have risen threefold in the last twenty years and that admissions to hospital through self-injury continue to increase year on year, as well as a locally identified need.
The professionals involved in the project worked together to develop training, resources and guides for the management of self harm across all school systems in North Tyneside, with findings including increased awareness of self-harm, clear processes for the management of self-harm and building resilience amongst children and young people.
We feel this is an excellent example of partnership working as the collaborative approach across agencies in North Tyneside contributed to the success and sustainability of this project. It brought together professionals who were all struggling to manage a significant issue and enabled them to pool resources, skills and knowledge to develop the Training and resources for use in practice.
The initiative involved a collaborative approach across Health, Education and Young Minds Charitable Services, working together with young people to raise awareness of self-harm management within schools and amongst children and young people. They achieved this through:
•Development and delivery of a training package (multi agency developed and delivered including staff from Young Minds Charity and several teams across NHCFT) for the early identification of self harm and the management of self harm.
•Development and implementation of resources for use by Education and Health staff with Children and Young people where self harming behaviours are identified.
•Resources for use by Children and Young People themselves.
•The development of a standardised process/guide for the management of self -harm across all school systems in North Tyneside.
All schools in North Tyneside ( Middle and High school YR7 and above) took part in the training, with a variety of staff attending including teachers, teaching assistants and school nurses. Evaluation shows the training to be a real success.
Overall the project:
- Increased awareness of self-harm within North Tyneside for professionals, voluntary agencies, parents, carers, children and young people.
- Increased awareness within the Learning Disability Field to ensure self harm is addressed in the same way as everyone else.
- Provided a clear process for the management of self-harm through the guide developed.
- Increased knowledge and understanding of the services and agencies available to support with the management of self harm.
- Provided resources to support professionals to open up discussions with children and young people who are self harming.
- Provided information on wider resources available for support.
- Built resilience amongst children and young people through awareness raising sessions.
Teaching and training is now available on an ongoing basis to keep all professionals working with young people up to date with management of self harm and all staff can access resources through Local Authority website.