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Self harm is a behavioural response to emotional distress, which the person finds effective in helping them to cope. It can sometimes mask an underlying psychological trauma.
If you think that a patient is self harming, ASK them as this may be a timely opportunity for them to receive an intervention that will help reduce harm and improve coping ability.
For children and young people under 18 use the HarmlessGlos tool to help guide your conversation and plan a course of action
Encourage the use of alternative self-management strategies:
Consider referral to or signpost patient to Gloucestershire’s Community Drug & Alcohol Recovery Service
A telephone call is often sufficient to check in on how the person is coping OR ask them to make a follow up appointment. Re-assess at this stage in order to decide whether further action or more watchful waiting is required.
Children and Young People (upto 18 years):
CYPS Practitioner Advice line is available Mon - Fri 9am-5pm
Adults (18 years plus):
The Contact Centre may be contacted for advice at any stage:
Make appropriate onward referrals based on the risk of serious harm or suicide, accompanying mental health or physical health problem, age or vulnerability.
Recent reviews of serious incidents have identified potential system and process changes which could improve the quality and responsiveness of care for people who require secondary care mental health services.
It would be helpful if GPs could please share any information in relation to substance misuse with GHC, particularly when a patient is injecting, as this aids clinical risk assessment and management. It is also really helpful if referrals into mental health services contain an appropriate risk assessment.
In all instances when a patient dies unexpectedly, especially if the cause of death is suspected suicide, GPs should inform GHC as soon as possible. This will allow GHC to quickly put in place support for those bereaved and minimise the risk of appointment letters etc. being sent to the deceased.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Assistant Director of Governance & Compliance, 2HCNHSFT)