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COVID-19 (Coronavirus info)

Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

Self Harm

What is self harm?

Self harm is an act which is intended to cause injury to one-self but which is not intended to result in death. It is often described by those who self harm as a way of coping with emotional pain and of surviving distressing experiences. It is not a suicide attempt.

Prevalence and Incidence

It is impossible to provide a definitive picture of self harm in Scotland for a number of reasons including that self harm is often not reported or recorded.

What are we doing to support those using self harm as a coping strategy?

The NHSGGC Self Harm Forum is a group of trainers who have successfully completed the ‘What’s the Harm’ Train the Trainer course, the organisations they represent, people with lived experience and wider individuals and organisations with a shared interest in supporting the purpose and remit of the group. The forum reports to the NHSGG&C Suicide Prevention Group and local structures as required.

Our Self Harm Awareness and Skills Training Resource: What's The Harm, seeks to standardise understanding of and responses to self harm when used as a coping strategy. It has been informed by a wide range of existing work on self-harm from services supporting people who self-harm, research teams and those with lived experience of self-harm. The training recognises self-harm as a coping strategy, a response to distress and a means to keep living. It makes the distinction therefore between suicide and self-harm whilst recognising that there are links between the two.

*In the absence of in person training and meeting opportunities the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Self Harm Forum has pulled together a range of information for staff providing support and advice to people who may be self harming.* Download here

Responding to Self Harm During COVID-19

Read our snapshot summary of how the NHSGGC Self Harm responded to self harm in the absence of face to face training during the pandemic. Download it  here


Faculty Public Health Event 2017

Heather Sloan and Allison McKenna Breen, two of our What's the Harm Trainers, presenting a poster on the Self Harm Awareness and Skills resource at the Faculty Public Health Event 2017.




Last Updated: 17 September 2021