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What do young people who self-harm find helpful? A comparative study of young people with and without experience of being looked after in care: What do young people who self-harm find helpful?

Holland, Josephine; Sayal, Kapil; Berry, Alexandra; Sawyer, Chelsea; Majumder, Pallab; Vostanis, Panos; Armstrong, Marie; Harroe, Caroline; Clarke, David; Townsend, Ellen

Authors

Josephine Holland

Kapil Sayal

Alexandra Berry

Pallab Majumder

Panos Vostanis

Marie Armstrong

Caroline Harroe

Ellen Townsend



Abstract

Background

Self‐harm amongst young people is an increasing problem, with looked‐after young people at higher risk. Despite this, little research exists on what young people who self‐harm find helpful.

Method

One hundred and twenty‐six 11–21 year olds (53 who had experience of the care system and 73 who did not) were recruited from the community and NHS. All participants had self‐harmed in the past 6 months. Participants completed an Audio Computer‐Assisted Self‐interview (ACASI) regarding their views about the support they had received, how helpful it was, and what further help they felt they needed.

Results

Looked‐after young people reported the three most helpful sources of support were Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), friends and pets and the least helpful were CAMHS, Accident and Emergency (A&E) and Social services. For non‐looked‐after young people, CAMHS, counselling and Harmless (user‐led support service for self‐harm) were most helpful and CAMHS, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and general practitioner (GP) were the least. Compared with the other group, more looked‐after young people had received help from A&E and CAMHS, whereas more non‐looked‐after young people had accessed GPs, parents, psychological therapies, self‐help books and websites. More looked‐after young people found support groups helpful, and more non‐looked‐after young people reported that distraction techniques, medication and their siblings were helpful.

Conclusion

Young people who self‐harm have mixed views about CAMHS. Differences in the pattern of access and preferences for support between looked‐after and non‐looked‐after young people should be reflected in service availability and commissioning.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 20, 2020
Journal Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Print ISSN 1475-357X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Holland, J., Sayal, K., Berry, A., Sawyer, C., Majumder, P., Vostanis, P., …Townsend, E. (2020). What do young people who self-harm find helpful? A comparative study of young people with and without experience of being looked after in care: What do young people who self-harm find helpful?. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, https://doi.org/10.1111/camh.12384
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/camh.12384
Keywords Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health; Psychiatry and Mental health
Publisher URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/camh.12384
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Holland, J., Sayal, K., Berry, A., Sawyer, C., Majumder, P., Vostanis, P., Armstrong, M., Harroe, C., Clarke, D. and Townsend, E. (2020), What do young people who self‐harm find helpful? A comparative study of young people with and without experience of being looked after in care. Child Adolesc Ment Health, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/camh.12384. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
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