Self-harm 'contagion effect' among children and teens | NALA
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Self-harm ‘contagion effect’ among children and teens

We are very proud of our Co-founder, Emma Pratt, for being interviewed and quoted in an exclusive report featured in today’s SMH on self-harm and children!

Emma Pratt, a clinical psychologist specialising in youth and family treatment, said children and adolescents were more protected now than they have ever been. They are also the most distress and depressed.

“When parents come to see me they are often really concerned about the self-harm but when we big deeper there is a lot more going on,” Ms Pratt said.

“Sometimes kids won’t want to stop self-harm because it is a strategy for them, albeit an unhelpful one.

Their underlying psychological distress needed to be addressed, she said.

Several studies have found parents of children and teenagers who self-harm report lower levels of wellbeing, and increased levels of distress, often described as shock, sadness, guilt and fear.

“We want to empower parents because there is a lot they can do and can be done,” Ms Pratt said.

Seeking psychological help, developing a safety plan so that a child can express their level of emotional distress, and creating a non-judgmental and supportive environment were very important, she said.