• Teachers and school carry out effective duty of care when it is suspected that a student is self-harming
  • Parents are informed of teacher concerns about their child/ren and are included in discussion about what will be done, such as referral to Psychologist or Nurse
  • The actions carried out by school staff in relation to self-harming are clearly documented and are accessible for future follow-up or auditing

Examples of Self-harming behaviour;

  • scratching/picking at skins/wounds
  • self-piercing
  • burns (hot & cold)
  • superficial cutting

Some reasons for self-harming behaviour:

Sub culture;

  • to be part of a group, peer pressure
  • dares, competitions
  • allowing friends to do it to them as a bonding exercise

Coping strategy;

  • displacement of other negative emotions
  • sense of control  by causing and stoing pain
  • self-punishment
  • suicidal intent 


  • fixation on an aspect of the process and craving the effects
  • ritualising

Potentially life-threatening (suicidal) behaviour, such as

  • taking tablets, walking into traffic
  • leaving goodbye or suicide notes and going missing
  • causing or threatening to cause life-threatening injuries
  • will be reported to Student Services as soon as practicable by email, phone or in person. Student Services may call emergency services (Police/Ambulance) as a priority, followed by carers and DOE incident reporting.