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By their own young hand

Internal News - 18 July 2006

Academic's new book on teenagers who self-harm

Dr Karen Rodham from the Department of Psychology has recently co-authored a book: By their own young hand, which investigates deliberate self-harm and suicidal ideas in adolescents.

Self-harm in adolescents is an increasingly recognized problem, and there is growing awareness of the important role schools and health services can play in detecting and supporting those at risk.

By Their Own Young Hand explores the findings of the first large-scale survey of deliberate self-harm and suicidal thinking in adolescents in the UK, and draws out the implications for prevention strategies and mental health promotion.

Six thousand young people were asked about their experiences of self-harm, the coping methods they use, and their attitudes to the help and support available.

The authors identify the risk and protective factors for self-harm, exploring why some adolescents with suicidal thoughts go on to harm themselves while others do not, what motivates some young people to seek help, and whether distressed teenagers feel they receive the support they need.

The book offers practical advice on how schools can detect young people at risk, cope with the aftermath of self-harm or attempted suicide, and develop training programmes for teachers. It also examines the roles of self-help, telephone helplines, email counselling, and walk-in crisis centres.

Containing adolescents’ own personal accounts and perspectives, this accessible overview will prove useful reading for teachers, social workers and mental health professionals.


By their own young hand: Deliberate self-harm and suicidal ideas in adolescents.
Keith Hawton and Karen Rodham with Emma Evans
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, June 2006
ISBN 1 84310 230 7