What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Young people engage in self-harm as a coping mechanism to deal with underlying issues causing emotional distress eg bullying, abuse, bereavement, pressure at school/college, family problems. Self-harming behaviour includes any behaviour intended to deliberately harm oneself eg cutting, burning, scratching but also risk taking behaviour eg unprotected sex with a number of partners, deliberately getting into fights. Without support these young people face the risk of their issues, distress and self-harming behaviour escalating and are at risk of serious injury, accidental death, long term/serious mental health problems and even suicide.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
Self-harm is a huge national issue. The UK has one of the highest incidence rates of self-harm in Europe with 400 in every 100,000 people self-harming every year (NICE). The University of Leeds estimates between 10-15% of young people will self-harm during their adolescence. Over 24,000 are hospitalised as a result every year(www.mentalhealth.org.uk). However, due to the stigma/secrecy that can surround self-harming behaviour the actual figures could be much higher
What is your solution?
We offer 1-1/group support that empower young people (11-18) within North Lancashire to address the issues underlying their self-harming behaviour, explore alternative coping mechanisms and reduce isolation -
• anonymous/one off emotional support, information and guidance via text, e-mail and drop-ins in schools/community settings
• up to 18 sessions of 1-1 counselling
• regular group workshops eg anger management, self-esteem/confidence, relaxation techniques
• peer support groups for young people to meet each other and build new friendships
How will you deliver this?
We support young people to self-assess their distance travelled during their time with the project. We support young people to achieve and average
• 91% reduction of self-harming behaviours
• 95% reduction in thoughts of suicide
• 71% improvement in emotional health & wellbeing
In a recent exercise we did with young people who had used the project they said it also gave them
• more confidence/self-esteem
• more control over their emotions
• more support/helped them to feel less alone
• better family relationships
• more happiness and positivity/less worry
We accept referrals from any source, including self, friend/family, teacher, youth worker etc. We hold an initial meeting with the young person to understand their individual issues/self-harming behaviours and agree together the most appropriate forms of support for them within the project. We signpost/make referrals to other services to make sure all the young persons needs are met. When a young person exits the project we undertake a final meeting with them. All young people are encouraged to join our ‘Flame Teen Forum’ which provides them with an opportunity to provide feedback and get more involved in delivery.