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Self Harm - Support for Schools 


The Managing Self-harm Guidance and Toolkit for Schools has been developed by the Cornwall Multi-agency Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Board, following the successful first edition developed in 2017.

The guide recognises the growing number of young people who harm themselves in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and across the country.

Young people living in Great Britain have the highest rate of self-injury in Europe and many school staff struggle to know how to respond to incidents of self-harm. Teachers have described feeling: “fazed, repulsed, bewildered, sorry and mystified”, when faced with people who had harmed themselves.

The guide also supports the local transformation plan for children and young people’s mental health services document which is called Turning the Tide and the really valuable work that is already taking place through the i-Thrive Framework.

The information and suggestions within this guide will support and complement the self-harm policy your school has, or is in the process of developing.

It includes:

  • What is self-harm?
  • Who self-harms and what are the risks?
  • Why young people self-harm
  • How self-harm works
  • Spotting the warning signs
  • Responding to self-harm in schools
  • Assessing risk
  • Confidentiality and information sharing
  • Other factors to consider
  • Roles and responsibilities within schools
  • Guidance for primary schools

Download Managing Self-Harm: Guidance for Schools

Free Leaflets

Leaflets developed by the working group with input and advice from Young People, for school staff, parents and young people are now available. 

Printed versions can be ordered free of charge from us or downloaded here: 

Young People (A4 easy print version)  Young People (pdf of print leaflet)
Parents & Carers (A4 easy print version) Parents & Carers (pdf of print leaflet)
School Staff (A4 easy print version)  School Staff (pdf of print leaflet)


More information and support for young people

Hard copies of the leaflets can be obtained from the Savvy Kernow Young People Friendly Service website www.savvykernow.org.uk Simply create an account for your organisation (in Cornwall) and the leaflets will be sent to you.

Young People Cornwall deliver self-harm training for students and staff in Cornwall. 



Mind's Understanding Self Harm booklet is for anyone who self-harms, and their friends and family. It explains what self-harm is, the reasons for it and how to go about making changes. It includes self-help ideas and information about other forms of support.

Young Minds

Young Minds' booklet Worried About Self Harm? aims to help you understand more about self-harm and to find support for yourself or someone you know.

Mental Health Foundation

The MHF's Truth About Self Harm booklet is based on the findings of the National Inquiry into Self-harm among young people. The booklet aims to help you understand more about self-harm and what to do if you are worried about yourself or someone else. It explains what self-harm is, what to do if you or someone you know is self-harming, and how to get help.

LifeSIGNS - Self-Injury Guidance and Network Support

LifeSIGNS is a user-led small charity creating understanding about self-injury. They provide information about self-injury and support people as and when they choose to make changes in their lives.