Safeguarding: Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention
This page provides a summary of the resources available to support the learning needs around mental health, self-harm and suicide prevention of the education workforce. It is aimed at practitioners, learning and development leads, as well as individual staff who are working in all sectors in Scotland.
National policy and guidance
The Creating Hope Together: suicide prevention strategy 2022 to 2032 sets out the Scottish Government and COSLA’s vision for suicide prevention in Scotland over the next ten years. The strategy is supported by an initial 3-year action plan setting out the actions needed to support the vision.
Creating Hope Together: suicide prevention action plan 2022 to 2025 details the actions for the next 3 years, which implements the first stage of the Scottish Government and COSLA’s 10-year suicide prevention strategy, and the four long term outcomes it sets out.
Suicide prevention training courses and resources - Public Health Scotland
Scotland’s Knowledge and Skills Framework for Mental Health Improvement, Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention (KSF) can be used to identify and explore strengths and gaps in knowledge and skills expected of staff in relation to the role they are preforming. Learning resources match across to the Mental health improvement and suicide prevention framework.
National guidance for identifying and responding to a suicide cluster has been developed as a practical guide to preventing and responding to suicide clusters. It reflects the practitioner experience of the Scottish National Suicide Prevention Network and contains case studies as examples of how to respond to suicide clusters and activity.
The professional learning is organised into four levels, with the Informed and Skilled levels of practice being most relevant for those working with children and young people in schools and settings.
The ‘Informed Level' provides the essential knowledge and skills required by all staff working in health and social care to contribute to mental health improvement and the prevention of self-harm and suicide.
The 'Skilled Level' describes the knowledge and skills required by ‘non-specialist’ front line staff working in health, social care, wider public and other services. These workers are likely to have direct and/or substantial contact with people who may be at risk of mental ill health, self-harm or suicide, meaning that they have an important contribution to make in mental health improvement and self-harm and suicide prevention.
Access to the resources outlined below can be found via TURAS
- register for a Turas | Learn (nhs.scot) Account
- you will receive an e-mail notification asking you to follow a link to set your password to activate your account
- log in and open Turas Learn application to use the links below to access the learning resources
PDF file: Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Interventions to prevent or manage self-harm among students in educational settings – a systematic review (378 KB)
Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing: A Professional Learning Resource
The resource takes a whole school approach centred around prevention and early intervention to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for everyone in the school community. It aims to provide school staff with knowledge and understanding of mental health and wellbeing in schools and a range of opportunities to learn about experiences and advice from practitioners and young people.
Promoting Children and Young People’s Mental Health and preventing Self-Harm and Suicide
Three educational animations support learning about mental health, self-harm and suicide prevention specifically for the wider Children and Young People’s workforce. These animations support individuals to understand the factors that influence mental health and resilience in children and young people; engage proactively with children and young people about mental health, self-harm and suicide; and recognise when to seek help to support those in their care.
Ask, Tell, what is mental health?
Identify ways in which you can support good mental health in children and young people and recognise the signs of mental ill health. Positive experiences, relationships and a sense of belonging are all important in building resilience and good mental health in children and young people. It is important to look behind behaviours be, curious and ask why.
Ask, Tell, how to talk about mental health
It is important to talk with young people about their mental health. This animation identifies the importance of finding time and creating a safe environment to talk.
Ask, Tell, Self-harm and Suicide Prevention
learn about self-harm and suicide risk in children and young people. The importance of talking and asking about suicidal thoughts and self-harm. And getting immediate help when you are worried about a child or young person’s safety. Prevention of suicide and self-harm is everyone’s business.
Learning Byte 1: Promoting Mental Health and Tackling Inequalities
Includes understanding what mental health is, features of positive mental health, determinants of mental health, trauma and inequalities that can lead to mental ill health, what works to improve mental health and how you can apply this knowledge in your own workplace.
Learning Byte 2: Supporting People in Distress and Crisis
Includes understanding distress, crisis and related risk or protective factors, recognising when someone may be experiencing distress or crisis, providing a compassionate and helpful response, supporting self-help and problem-solving and knowing how and when to access more urgent support for someone.
Learning Byte 3: Supporting People at Risk of Suicide
Includes the factors that may lead people to think about suicide, working with people to assess their risk of suicide, conversations that enable people to talk about their thoughts of suicide, when to seek emergency support and intervention for people at risk of suicide, practical and emotional approaches to supporting people at risk of suicide. Part B includes additional information about children and young people who may be at risk of suicide.
Learning Byte 4: Supporting People at Risk of Self-Harm
Includes the different reasons why people self-harm, understanding self-harm as communication of distress, some common misconceptions surrounding self-harm, impact of thoughts, feelings and emotions on self-harm, adopting a sensitive, compassionate and non-judgemental approach when talking about self-harm, risk and protective factors associated with self-harm, ways you can positively respond to and talk about self-harm.
Learning Byte 5: Supporting Recovery and Quality of Life for People Living with Mental Ill Health
Includes understanding the concept of recovery and how to work in a way that promotes this, supporting people to engage with wider community resources that promote social and peer support, meaningful purpose and positive relationships, understanding the physical health problems and barriers to treatment and lifestyle change that can be experienced by people living with mental ill health, recognising the impact of stigma and discrimination on mental health recovery, and promoting inclusion, health and quality of life.
There are facilitation packages available with some of the resources at the Informed and Skilled levels of practice. The facilitation package will help to support the delivery of workshops and local delivery via a digital platform. These packages provide the opportunity to deliver structured interactive sessions, providing the opportunity to explore issues further, either as a team and/or across different sectors.