Schools and health professionals launch self harm prevention partnership

Date 15/03/2017
CAMHS staff with representatives from Gwynedd and Ynys Mon education authories

CAMHS staff with representatives from Gwynedd and Ynys Mon education authories


Schools in several areas across North Wales have teamed up with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board along with Gwynedd and Ynys Môn Education Services to improve the care given to pupils who are at risk of self-harming.

The initiative will see secondary schools in Gwynedd and Ynys Môn work in partnership with the Health Board’s local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to identify at risk pupils, and ensure they receive the most effective support.

A successful launch event for secondary schools in Gwynedd and Mon was recently in Caernarfon. Speaking at the launch, Elin Sanderson, Senior CAMHS/Education Practitioner involved in the project said:

“Self-harm can involve young people hurting themselves as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, painful memories or overwhelming situations and experiences that feel out of control.

“We know that self-harm amongst young people is a largely hidden problem and it appears to peak during adolescence, so it’s vital that we work with schools to ensure that pupils get the support they need at the earliest opportunity.”

CAMHS teams have worked in partnership with Gwynedd and Ynys Môn’s Education Services to train a minimum of two members of staff in each secondary school on how to support at risk pupils. Teachers will also have rapid access to specialists from the local CAMHS team who can provide support and advice on mental health, and how to manage the risks of pupils self-harming.

Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Sara Hammond-Rowley said: “We know that young people will often turn to friends and trusted adults for support, so it’s vital that teachers know what to do, who should to do it, and who is responsible for what.”