Page 205 - Faculty Handbook2

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Mental Health Concerns
205
SELF-INJURIOUS BEHAVIOR
Self-injury is sometimes called “deliberate self-harm,” “self-
mutilation,” “cutting,” or “non-suicidal self-injury.” Self-injury
typically refers to a variety of behaviors in which an
individual intentionally inflicts harm to his or her body for
purposes not socially recognized or sanctioned and without
suicidal intent. Self-injury can include a variety of behaviors
but is most commonly associated with intentional carving or
cutting of the skin, subdermal tissue scratching, burning,
ripping or pulling skin or hair, swallowing toxic substances,
self- bruising and breaking bones.
Detecting self-injurious behavior can be difficult since the
practice is often secretive and relatively easy to hide.
Unexplained burns, cuts, scars or other clusters of similar
markings on the skin can be signs of self-injurious behavior.
Other signs include: inappropriate dress for season
(consistently wearing long sleeves or pants in summer),
constant use of wrist bands/coverings, unwillingness to
participate in activities that require less body coverage (such
as swimming or gym class), frequent bandages, odd or
unexplainable paraphernalia (e.g., razor blades or other
implements that could be used to cut or pound) and
heightened signs of depression or anxiety.
Creating a safe environment is critical for self-injurious
adolescents or young adults, Avoid displaying shock or
showing great pity. The intensely private and shameful
feelings associated with self-injury prevent many from