Tackling self-harm and suicide among young people

NEW guidance to help agencies identify and support children and young people at risk of self harm or suicide was launched at Forfar Academy on Monday (June 27).

The guidance is intended for use by local authorities, NHS Tayside and partnership agencies across Tayside.

Multi agency guidance for staff has been in place across Angus and Dundee since 2006 but the updated document now includes information from Perth and Kinross.

It forms part of the Choose Life campaign - a national programme with the target of reducing suicides by 20% in Scotland by 2013.

The document is illustrated with eye-catching artwork produced by pupils at Forfar Academy.

Kathryn Lindsay, chair of the Choose Life Joint Steering Group said: “The principal aim of this guidance is to provide advice and information for individuals and professionals in contact with young people who are self-harming or at risk of self harm or suicide.

“It helps those working in a wide range of services to feel more confident, informed and able to support the young people most at risk by identifying common factors, offering tools and techniques and information on available resources and training, to help them engage effectively with young people.”

If you would like further information about the guidance or to receive a copy then please contact Gail Forrest, mental health and wellbeing co-ordinator (Angus and Dundee), 01307 474824, e-mail forrestgm@angus.gov.uk.

The document can be viewed at www.angus.gov.uk/ac/documents/SelfHarmSuicide.