Self-harm among adolescent in-patients exercises all who work with them. the UK has an exceptionally high prevalence of this behaviour compared with the rest of Europe. However, in one in-patient adolescent unit, in-patient self-harm was significantly reduced. Details of our rationale and intervention are presented, together with a retrospective data analysis.
Using a range of practical and psychological interventions, the alarmingly high level of self-harm was almost completely eliminated and this level has been maintained to the present.
Our results suggest that self-harm in in-patients can be managed and reduced without adverse effects on the patients. Our methods may be applicable to other settings, although some staff may initially feel uncomfortable with such policy.
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