The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has called for more training on the issue of self-harm to be provided to social care workers, along with greater awareness of the problem in the UK.
Nushra Mansuri, a professional officer for BASW, has said that whilst people working in the field of mental health have a reasonable understanding of self-harm, social workers are not getting enough care training to be able to deal with the issue. She said:
“Whatever client group you work with, it will be a feature – it [self-harm training] should be integral because you are working with people whose lives are in crisis – there is a high correlation between the people you work with and people with a propensity to hurt themselves,”
Jennifer McLeod, from Step Up! International, echoed this call for better self-harm awareness training for social workers, saying:
“Social workers ought to be trained in spotting the signs; if they aren’t spotted, it could be fatal,”
“It’s about listening to what’s not being said, looking for physical signs and emotions – they [people who self-harm] are generally hiding something.”
According to the charity YouthNet, around 1 in 12 young people have self-harmed at some stage of their lives, and around 3,000 people aged between 16 to 25 visit its support service every month after looking up self-harm online.