By Their Own Young Hand: Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideas in Adolescents

By Keith Hawton; Karen Rodham et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5

Adolescents' Help-seeking,
Coping Strategies and
Attitudes and Their
Relevance to Deliberate
Self-harm

Introduction

It is important to know what sources of help and support adolescents feel are available to them, but it is also crucial to know whether they use them. In this chapter, we consider help-seeking and how this differs between adolescents who self-harm and other adolescents. We also look at how attitudes to help-seeking may explain any such differences. It is also important to know what coping methods adolescents use, and how these differ between those who have and have not self-harmed as well as those who have had thoughts of self-harm but have not acted upon them. Identifying whether the coping strategies employed by adolescents who engage in deliberate self-harm or who have had thoughts of self-harm are different from those employed by other adolescents could inform the planning of interventions and enable them to be better targeted. Furthermore, identifying the people with whom adolescents feel able to talk provides valuable information on which people need to be prepared to support adolescents with problems. It may also pinpoint potential sources of help for adolescents that currently they are not utilising. Another relevant aspect of deliberate self-harm in adolescents concerns the attitudes of adolescents in general towards self-harmers and how this might vary between those who self-harm and those who do not. In

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