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by Dr Matthew Lowe and
Dr Sean Cross
Self-harm is one of the top five
causes of hospital admission and the most common mental health
reason for presentation to an emergency department (ED).
There are a series of challenges associated
with this presentation for acute trust staff. Services are split
across the mental physical interface and it is an area where
clinicians can feel less than confident in management decisions,
which are often associated with added dimensions of complexity
around refusal of investigation, refusal of treatment and capacity
for people to take their own discharge. There are a series of poor
outcomes associated with this kind of presentation.
In this module, we will highlight the
reasons why physicians should be interested in those individuals
who self-harm, take you through the epidemiology and explore
some of the pitfalls and opportunities in the assessment and
management of self-harm. In addition, we will look at how to
improve experiences for both those who self-harm and those
clinicians who care for them in an acute hospital environment.