Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour
What is self-harm?
Self-harm is the act of deliberately or intentionally inflicting physical harm to oneself. Common types of self-harm include:
- Cutting or burning the skin
- Picking at skin, scars or wounds
- Hitting oneself to inflict bruises or bone fractures
- Overdosing on drugs or drinking toxic chemicals (with no intent to commit suicide)
Self-harm is a maladaptive coping mechanism most often used to help a person deal with intense and overwhelming feelings that they do not know how to express or deal with in a healthy way. The person who self-harms usually has no intention to commit suicide, but may accidentally die as a result of risky or dangerous self-harming activities.
What is suicidal behaviour?
Suicidal behaviour includes thoughts about suicide, planning suicide, and suicide attempts. These thoughts can be irregular or ongoing, and may shift in intensity over time. They can be triggered by extremely distressing events, mental illness such as depression, or even medications and other substances.
Behaviours to look out for in a teen who is suicidal may include the following:
- Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
- Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about being a burden to others
- Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawal or isolation
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities they used to enjoy
How can Alta-1 College help?
At Alta-1 College, we understand how self-harm and suicidal behaviour can affect the social, emotional and academic areas of a student’s life and we can provide a holistic support system for the young person struggling with these areas. Our qualified and experienced Teachers, Education assistants, Counsellors and Psychologists are able to provide academic and therapeutic support to students to enable them to reach the potential they would not otherwise achieve. We also offer online counselling for students who are unable to attend face-to-face sessions.
For information about how our program can assist you click here.