Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
Suicide and self-harm – two words that are often grouped together as both are inflictions of pain. Sometimes children who begin to self-harm may later commit suicide, but generally those that self-harm do not necessarily wish to kill themselves. Deliberate self-harm varies with the individual. Children may self-harm in response to a specific problem and stop once the problem is resolved. It is important for parents to understand the warning signs and be responsive in their actions. The focus should always be on the underlying difficulty the child is facing. Resolution of the problem is the best preventative measure for parents.
Many young people might try to hide their self-harming behaviour, and will not seek professional help. Whilst every person is different, there are some warning signs that a child might be self-harming. Aside from obvious signs, such as exposed cuts, there are some less obvious signs. Children that self-harm or feel depressed are not necessarily suicidal.