Mental Health and Wellbeing in Emergency Services (Part 1) - Self-Injurious Behaviour

29 Dec 2019 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Mental Health and Wellbeing has, for many years – maybe even centuries – been seen as a complex set of conditions which are challenging to suffer from, live with or manage. 

In the broad context of easing the feelings that people have when suffering, and the treatment that they may (or may not) need or receive, there remains the individual, the person, the patient/ service-user/ client (delete as appropriate). I smile to myself as I wonder if we spend more time worrying about what title to use than we do deciding what best to say to them… 

Anyway, I digress, in amongst all of this there emerges one group of individuals that I suggest we, as emergency healthcare providers, do not fully understand. A group of individuals who we may see through narrowed and ignorant eyes, a group of individuals who have historically been mislabelled as ‘attention seekers’.

Those are the people who feel the need to self-harm, the people who cannot see a way out of the mire that is their life, those that cut, burn and scar themselves, those that feel so desperate that they need to remove themselves to a quiet place and end their life.

Do we fully understand them? We may be able to sympathise or even empathise with their circumstances – you, like me, may have been close to the edge when all else seemed lost. But what do we do – our best!

CPDme have a series of presentations from a recent conference event which focused on mental health and wellbeing and the emergency services. Some of the speakers who offered their time to this cause are remarkable, others are just fantastic. They made me want to pose some questions though – and as such, over the next couple of weeks that’s what I’m going to do through the power of a blog – feel free to reply and let’s get talking…

My first question would be: as we exit the festive period where (most of) the developed world had decked their halls, sang carols, shared gifts and spread love and happiness why do some people still feel the need to engage in ‘self-injurious behaviours’? Is there a need, is there a gap in the system, is it just the way it is, is there a solution, is there something that society or just each of us can do?

That wasn’t one question was it, and nor do I expect there to be answers – but I look forward to some discussions… 

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