Working effectively with self-harm and suicide using a trauma informed approach – online training - access flexibly over 3 days (22/23/24 April 2024) PLUS live online workshop with presenter - 3pm, 24th April

22/23/24 April 2024




April 22, 2024


April 24, 2024


Professionals in all sectors are having to respond to increasing numbers of service users who self-harm.  Another, smaller, group of service users are at risk of suicide.


How should professionals intervene effectively, in a way that helps rather than harms?

How can we reduce the likelihood of serious harm?

How can we survive and make meaning after loss through suicide, and how might we support others to do so?

This learning day aims to enable professionals to offer a stronger response, using a trauma informed approach, to service users who may be self-harming or at risk of self-harm or suicide.

Rates of self-harm have risen across both sexes and all age groups since 2000. In the population as a whole prevalence almost trebled from 2.4% in 2000 to 6.4% in 2014.(1)

Self-harm may be used as a response to depression, anxiety, or anger – more often a means of coping with big feelings, or self-punishment, than a cry for attention.  Self-harm may take the form of cutting, burning, or injury with other objects.  It can also take the form of abusing medication, drugs or alcohol; self-starvation or, the reverse, binge eating or excessive exercising.

Young women aged 16-24 years show the highest rate of self-harm, with almost one in five saying they have self-harmed at some point (compared to a little over one in twenty in the year 2000).  The upward trend also applies to young men, but rates are under half that of young women.

Self-harm is often found to be a response to childhood, domestic or sexual abuse.  It is also linked to poor family relationships, bullying, problems making friends, rivalries, as well as specific triggers like exam pressure.  We may be more likely to end our lives if people in our families have done so.

There are concerns about increasing rates of self-harm.  The impact of internet and social media may have both played a part in this (concerns about popularity and self-image), and facilitated acts of self-harm (internet groups and videos which promote self-harm).

As the rate of self-harm increases, the proportion of those seeking help is falling.  Covid lockdowns have made the situation worse.  In practice, this means that non-mental health professionals are often the ones left to respond. John Apter, the national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “The public would be shocked by just how much of an officer’s time is spent dealing with non-crime related incidents, with the majority of these involving mental health issues.”(2)

Self-harm is a proven high risk factor for suicide, but is not necessarily a ‘first step.’  The suicide rate in the UK remains below the levels of the 1980s, although it has risen again from 2007.  However, it remains the single most significant cause of death for men under 50.  While the same factors as discussed above may be relevant, other factors in male suicide also include financial fears/unemployment, absence of contact with children, feelings of failure and military service.

Format of the training

  • This training takes place online and sessions (excluding the live workshop) are pre-recorded by the presenter.
  • Details of the sessions, with approximate timings, are given in the Agenda section. We advise you to leave some additional time for any reflections or exercises included. PowerPoint slides will be provided.
  • In order to offer flexibility to busy professionals, the sessions can be accessed at any time over a three-day period, from Monday 22nd – Wednesday 24th April


What you will get from us

  • Once you have booked, you will be emailed a brief confirmation.
  • Approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the start of the training days we will email joining instructions which will include your personal access codes, full details of how to access the training sessions and the live workshop, and your PowerPoint slides.
  • After you have completed the training, we will email a Certificate of Attendance for your CPD records


Technical heads up

  • If you are part of a large organisation, please check with your IT department that there are no firewalls which will prevent you from accessing the training.
  • We strongly advise accessing the sessions using Chrome
  • We’re here to help, so if you have any problems, just call us or email us (contacts below)


The live workshop

  • The live workshop is run by the presenter for one hour at 3pm on 24th April
  • This is your opportunity to ask a question, or to raise a real-life situation you are experiencing, or have experienced, in the course of your work.
Please feel free to telephone us on 0115 916 3104 or email us
on with any queries.


The sessions are pre-recorded, totalling approximately 3 hours,  and can be accessed 24 hours a day within the three day period. We advise allowing extra time for exercises and reflection.


Understanding self-harm and suicide as complex mental health problems

  • Welcome and introduction
  • Self-harm and suicide:
    • Definitions and differences
    • Prevalence among different age and gender groups
    • Links with other difficulties (mental health, domestic abuse etc) and risk factors


Working with Self Harm

  • Understanding the ‘why’ in order to design our response
  • Listening to lived experience
  • Assessing and Safety Planning
  • Roleplay (to watch) – responding to communicative self-harm


Working with Suicidality

  • Understanding why in order to design our response
  • Listening to lived experience
  • Assessing risk and safety planning
  • Roleplay (to watch) – intervening with someone who is suicidal


Coping with, and learning from, trauma

  • Surviving and making meaning after suicide
  • Listening to lived experience
  • Key characteristics of helpful responses

Live workshop

1 hour at 3pm on 24th April

This is an opportunity to discuss practice issues and ask questions with the presenter.

  • Children and family social workers
  • Adults’ social workers
  • Professionals supporting families
  • Domestic abuse services
  • Sexual abuse services
  • Services supporting survivors of child abuse and CSE
  • Schools – safeguarding leads, family support workers, school nurses
  • Education welfare specialists
  • Services supporting children and young people
  • Drug and alcohol services
  • Police, community protection and probation services
  • Social housing
  • Medical professionals who do not have specialist knowledge in this area
  • Voluntary sector services

Delegate fee: 

£75+ VAT = £90


Want to book a larger group (over 10)?

  • Discount on the standard price available for these dates
  • Arrange different dates to suit your group
  • Training can be delivered in your workplace or live online just for your group


Call 0115 916 3104 or email to arrange


Booking Terms and Conditions

  • The latest date for cancellation of standard rate places is 2 weeks prior to the first day of the training event; an administration fee of 25% will be charged for cancellation
  • Substitutions will be accepted, but these must be notified in writing PRIOR to the first day of the training event
  • It is the responsibility of each participant to ensure that they set aside time to access the online sessions; unexpected work or personal events will not entitle the delegate to access later events without re-booking
  • Cancellations should be made in writing to up to two weeks before the start of the event and will be acknowledged


Please note that slightly different T&Cs will apply to large group bookings.

Felicity Reed is an Adult Psychotherapist and UKCP accredited Supervisor with a background in understanding and supporting people who experience mental distress in complex circumstances, such as in homelessness, substance abusing, criminal justice and emergency service contexts.


She has worked for almost twenty years as a practitioner, leader and service designer, creating new ways to meet the needs of those who do not fit easily into traditional support and who, as a consequence, may present with challenging, distressing or offending behaviours.


Felicity worked for PAUSE in Southwark, supporting women with complex needs, many of whom have had multiple children taken into care. She currently works for Enfield Council with responsibility for rolling out Community Hubs.