Experiencing a mental health/ emotional crisis means feeling unable to cope with overwhelming or upsetting thoughts and feelings. Crisis is different for everyone - there is no right or wrong way to think or feel when in crisis.
Not everyone who engages in self-harm behaviour is in crisis and not everyone who engages in self-harm is suicidal.
Situations that might trigger or contribute towards experiencing a mental health or emotional crisis for children and young people:
Self-harm involves the act of doing something to cause harm or omitting to do something which in turn may cause harm (such as not taking prescribed medications).
There are many forms of self-harm.
There are many reasons why a young person may engage in self-harm and each individual episode of self-harm may have a different trigger or reason.
Here are some signs to look out for;
Suicide is the act of intentionally and purposefully ending one’s life.
A lot of young people may experience thoughts about wanting to harm themselves or end their life, particularly when in crisis or they experience a distressing life event.
It can be difficult to notice if a young person is experiencing thoughts and urges or even making plans to end their life, particularly as suicidal thoughts and urges can occur suddenly, unexpectedly and impulsively, especially among adolescents.
Some signs include but are not limited to;
Every young person could benefit from having their own person crisis and coping plan, whether they are known to experience episodes of crisis or not. A crisis and coping plan can be completed by anyone but should always be done with a young person.
A crisis and coping plan should consider the following;
Watch a video of someone completing this coping and crisis plan with a young person here:
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Video description: Self Harm
Video description: Stop All The Clocks - A film about suicide
Video description: Grounding Techniques
Video description: Breathing Techniques
Video description: Make your own self-soothe box
Video description: A-Z of coping strategies
Video description: How to make a Crisis Coping Plan with a Young Person
Video description: How to make a Crisis Coping Plan with a Young Person - An Introduction
Video description: CARE (Coping and Resilience Education Skills); A 45minute workshop for adults on understanding young people's emotions and how to support them with emotional resilience and mental health
Video description: Supporting a young person in crisis