Understanding the growing problem of self-harm

8th February 2018

An event exploring the growing issue of self-harm will take place in Sheffield later this month.

Self-harm is an important health concern in the UK with numbers seemingly rising, especially in teens, with one recent study claiming that UK GPs witnessed a 68 per cent increase in the number of hospital presentations of self-harm in girls under the age of 17.* The free event, organised by Sheffield Hallam University, is open to the general public and will explore various aspects of self-harm, ranging from self-harm in people with intellectual disabilities to harm-reduction techniques. The event, which has been funded through Sheffield Hallam's Equality, Diversity and Social Justice Research Group, will take place on 24 February from 2pm at Sheffield Hallam's City Campus and is open to anyone who has an interest in the issue of self-harm. The organiser of the event, Stephanie Hannam-Swain, is a PhD student and associate lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University currently researching disabled peoples' experiences of self-harm. Stephanie said: "Self-harm is important to understand and identify. It is widely recognised as a coping mechanism for some people who are experiencing overwhelming emotions, thoughts and/or memories, and often serves to bring back an element of control, relief or self-comfort which may be missing in the person's life. "Responding to self-harm in a way that doesn't reinforce or replicate traumatic experiences which may be contributing to the self-harm behaviour is vital in successfully supporting someone who is utilising this coping mechanism." The event is held a few days before Self-Injury Awareness Day (Thursday 1 March). Places are limited and can be booked by following this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/self-harm-a-mini-conference-tickets-39414918081 * https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/18/self-harm-girls-aged-13-to-16-rose-68pc-three-years If you are a student and concerned about an issue linked to self-harm you can contact the Student Wellbeing team or find self-help information on a variety of issues including self-injury here.

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