Mental Health First Aid Training for Non-Suicidal Self-Injury
What is Non-Suicidal Self-Injury?
Non-suicidal self-injury is a kind of self-harm where individuals intentionally inflict harm or damage to their bodies without suicide in mind. NSSI is performed differently for every individual, but common methods involve cutting of the skin, scratching, punching, burning, and biting.
Most times, these injurious behaviours are performed to cope with overwhelming feelings of frustration and distress. It is likely that people dealing with NSSI struggle with limited emotional resources which could have helped them overcome difficult situations, so they tend to resort to the closest mode of coping they could think of, which is self-injury.
Reasons for NSSI
A misconception about NSSI that needs serious debunking is that its purpose is solely for attention-seeking. This term is stigmatising as it views self-injury as the sole characteristic of hostile behaviour; neglecting the probability of an underlying emotional health problem. It could be that the person suffers from anxiety or stress disorders and self-injury, unfortunately, just so happened to be among the various ways they relieve tension.
Whatever the person’s reasons for exhibiting NSSI behaviours they require mental health, and general practitioner support or a continuing psychological intervention from a licensed professional.
As with other emotional problems, the trickiest part is always deciding when to get help. Not everyone is immediately willing to seek expert advice nor is it always an arm’s reach to psychological services. In such cases, it’s helpful to have a friend or family member who is trained in delivering first aid support.
Assisting Individuals Suffering from NSSI
- Keep an eye out for signs of self-harm such as bruises or cuts on their wrists, thighs, and stomach.
- Stop by their social media accounts and check for any shared content that may have harmful meanings.
- Approach them and ask them how they’re feeling.
- Encourage them to talk to you about any problem they’re struggling with.
- Otherwise, communicate your availability for when they prefer to speak to you another time.
- Show concern for their well-being without sounding judgmental or condescending.
- Lend a listening ear.
- If you find them in a situation where they are about to or while harming themselves, immediately rush to prevent any further damage to their health.
- Stay by their side until they’ve calmed.
- Offer reassurance.
- Talk to them about considering seeking professional help.
- Emphasise your willingness to accompany them if they ever decide to approach a clinician.
- Check on them regularly for the following days or weeks.
- Maintain communication via the internet if you don’t live in the same house or neighbourhood as them.
Getting training for Mental Health First Aid for NSSI
Providing mental health support to a friend or relative requires great skill. While your empathy is a valuable element to the process, you make more impact when the assistance you provide is guided by evidence-based research in the field of mental health.
At WHS and Training Compliance Solutions, we believe in a systematic approach to Mental Health First Aid; a reason why we are dedicated to training parents, teachers, social workers, businesses and individuals to competently deliver immediate first aid to vulnerable teens and children.
Our Onsite Mental Health First Aid Training for NSSI is a 4-hour face-to-face activity led by our in-house experts. During the session, participants will be made to understand the causes of self-harm as well as the correct ways to engage with a self-harming individual.
Visit our website to learn more or call 07 5499 2406 to reserve your seat in our next MHFA training.