Can I Tell You About Self-Harm?

We’re delighted to have partnered up with our friends at Jessica Kingsley Publishers to run a fantastic competition to celebrate National Reading Month! Each week, we’ll feature a blog on three topical education books on our website (provided by Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

At the end of the month, we’ll be entering one lucky person the chance to win ALL of the books we feature. The winner will be announced on Day 2 of The Schools & Academies Show, ExCeL, London 3-4 April.

Tickets are free of charge – register for yours here


The thing about self‑harm is that it works: it distracts, it releases, it hides. For some, self‑harm keeps away thoughts of suicide. You might have hurt yourself on impulse one day because things were so intense that you had to do something to make it stop. You didn’t think you would do it again. But you did. And now, even though you can think of loads of reasons why you shouldn’t, it is something you do because it works. It deals with that situation like nothing else.

But here’s the other thing about self‑harm: it doesn’t work in the long run. There is a lot of research that says that youth who engage in non‑suicidal self‑injury over a long period of time are at higher risk for suicide (Whitlock et al., 2013). Youth who self‑injure and who report depression and substance abuse are at particular risk for suicide attempt (Jenkins, Singer, Conner, et al., 2014). I’m not sharing this information to scare you. The fact that you’re reading this book probably means you don’t need to be scared. You probably want to stop, or you want to help someone who is self‑harming. This book will help. Pooky has great insight into the who, what, why, when and how of self‑harm. She presents it with compassion and without judgement.

What I do know is that Pooky’s book will provide you with the information you need to make changes in a matter of days. Pooky spells out why and how you can create a safety plan, get support and manage those overwhelming feelings. She acknowledges that overcoming self‑harming behaviours will be easier some days and harder others. If you’re ready to take that first step, this book is an excellent start. For those of you who are already on your way, this book is a great companion on your journey. Finally, if someone you love is self‑harming, and you want to understand why and what you can do, this book is for you.

Can I Tell You About Self-Harm? A Guide for Friends, Family and Professionals by Pooky Knightsmith is Published by Jessica Kinglsey Publishers and is available to purchase at: https://www.jkp.com/uk/can-i-tell-you-about-self-harm-1.html

Pooky Knightsmith is Director of the Children, Young People and Schools Programme at the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust and Vice Chair of Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition.