Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Impact of self-harm

The need for compassionate self-harm services

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1478 (Published 14 June 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1478
  1. Faraz Mughal, general practitioner and NIHR doctoral fellow1,
  2. Leah Quinlivan2,
  3. chartered psychologist and research fellow
  1. 1School of Medicine, Keele University, Keele, UK
  2. 2NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. f.mughal{at}keele.ac.uk

The anonymous author of a recent What Your Patient is Thinking article shares a powerful story of feeling that their self-harm was dismissed and how this affected future help seeking.1 Self-harm is a serious public health issue and is the strongest risk factor for suicide: it must be taken seriously by healthcare professionals and services so that patients do not avoid seeking support and continue to struggle with self-harm and psychological distress.

The author described being free of …

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