This document was developed by and is for all staff in statutory and voluntary agencies that are working and supporting young people. For example CAMHS practitioners, Educational Psychologists, Teachers, Social Workers, Public Health Nurses, Residential Child Care Workers and Voluntary Sector project staff, either paid or voluntary as well as carers.
The guidance is primarily designed for young people between the ages of 11-18. However, be mindful that signs of depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal thoughts can be experienced by much younger children. The GIRFEC principles will apply in all cases.
The flowchart record forms and guidance in Chapter 7 are provided to facilitate multi agency collaboration and decision making that involves young people.
The guidance is designed to be used by all staff who will hopefully have completed appropriate suicide and self-harm training and focuses on the issues and strategies relevant to effective multi agency support plans for young people. Since it is written to be used as a reference aide, some information has been repeated in a number of sections and where appropriate more detailed information or recording forms are elsewhere in the guide.
The guidance is designed to support your own professional judgement and your organisation’s existing policies. The individual assessment and plan of care should be recorded in your agency’s young person’s record. Unless it is inappropriate to do so copies of the record forms should be passed to the named person. The skills you need to engage with a young person who is self-harming are the same skills you would use with any young person in distress and all staff are encouraged to use their colleagues for support. A safe plan form is available for the young person to complete and keep