Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Supervised self-harm

This is just wrong!


Jo said...

Actually, I think it makes sense. don't think of self-harm as the act of harming but more as the expression of something that the individual can't articulate. Almost every person that I know who self-harms or has had an eating disorder has done so because of childhood abuse or sexual assaults - by "treating" the act of harming you're doing nothing more than putting a sticking plaster on a gaping wound. You've got to treat the psychological pain first - otherwise the harming will continue and could go from cutting oneself to actual suicide attempts.

Paul Burgin said...

Jo I can see your argument and it is not as if I don't understand or lack sympathy, but I am worried, genuinely worried, as to where such a policy will lead. I am concerned that this is a well meaning idea that could backfire and that those who are 'allowed' will not feel that they have the immediate love and help they desperately need. That said, I am aware that I know little about this issue, I have known people with a variety of problems, mental or otherwise, but as far as I know I have not known anyone with a tendency to self harm.

Anonymous said...


Supervised self-harm is an interesting way forward.

Self harm is an act which people can become emotionally dependant on, it satisfies a cause but it is caused by an emotion. Hospitals aren't equipped to help with emotion but often push these people to people who can, that process can then take months or years.

In the meantime, something needs to be done to reduce the number of A+E patients with self-inflicted injuries and more to the point stop accidental suicide, infections, nerve damage etc. To stop self harm is like stopping smoking, only when an ex smoker craves a whole packet of cigarettes, a self harmer may crave suicide.

The safe self harm initiative is showing people who are already going to cut themselves, a way to do it more safely. They are still talking about mental health services, not replacing one with the other.

I think it's a fantastic idea, it brings the subject out in the open which is where it needs to be for people to take notice and take action.

See my organisation for more info