Self-harm for the general physician 

Self-harm is one of the top five causes of hospital admission and the most common mental health reason for presentation to an emergency department (ED).


There are a series of challenges associated with this presentation for acute trust staff. Services are split across the mental physical interface and it is an area where clinicians can feel less than confident in management decisions, which are often associated with added dimensions of complexity around refusal of investigation, refusal of treatment and capacity for people to take their own discharge. There are a series of poor outcomes associated with this kind of presentation.


In this module, we will highlight the reasons why physicians should be interested in those individuals who self-harm, take you through the epidemiology and explore some of the pitfalls and opportunities in the assessment and management of self-harm. In addition, we will look at how to improve experiences for both those who self-harm and those clinicians who care for them in an acute hospital environment.


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