Self Harm

January 23 2019

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI), another name for self-harm, is not a recent phenomenon. Recent findings, however, suggest that nearly 15% of teens in America report utilizing some form of self-harm. This means that approximately 450 students on this campus engage in various forms of NSSI.

When it comes to self-harm, it’s important to understand that many teens who engage in these behaviors are not suicidal. While NSSI can be a symptom of a greater issue, the typical reason most people engage in self-harming behaviors is to help them cope with something. Some of these people have learned that harming themselves actually helps them “feel” which helps them feel better. This relief, while temporary, is what prevents many teens from seeking help and is why it is difficult to identify the teens who engage in NSSI. These teens have found a coping mechanism that works for them and they are afraid someone is going to take that away so they go to great lengths to hide their behaviors. This is also the reason why it is important that you as a teacher are actively trying to identify those students in your classes who might be engaging in these behaviors. This article from the 1 in 5 minds for Educators Toolbox is a great resource to help you better understand NSSI and how you can help your students. Please reach out to me if you would like to discuss NSSI in more detail or if you have any questions!

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