Sunday, 6 March 2016

Training mental health staff to work with people who self-harm

Roger Watson, Editor

People who self-harm are also prone to committing suicide and, as the authors of this study from Finland - (Tapola et al. 2016) - explain: 'Suicide and self-injurious behavior (SIB) are substantial health problems worldwide. It has been estimated that over 800 000 people die due to suicide every year and for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.'  The study is titled: 'Effects of training on attitudes of psychiatric personnel towards patients who self-injure' and published in Nursing Open.

It is known that mental health staff can have negative attitudes towards people who self-harm and, of course, if such people do not receive appropriate care then they may progress to attempting suicide.  Positive attitudes towards people who self-harm are essential.  A training package about self-harm and suicide was developed and implemented with 50 mental health staff and their attitudes measured before and after.  The outcome was positive.

In conclusion the authors say: 'Although the study shows change in attitudes following the training, it is not known if this can result in changes in behavior as a result of the training.

Reference

Tapoloa V, Walstrhรถm J, Lappalinen R (2016) Effects of training on attitudes of psychiatric personnel towards patients who self-injure Nursing Open doi: 10.1002/nop2.45