Safeguarding Adults at Risk of Suicide and Self-Harm

Pearse McCusker, Jackie Jackson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Self-harm and suicide are poorly understood in the general population (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2010) and research indicates that people who self-harm and attempt suicide are often subject to stigma and hostility, even from professionals who regularly work with them, including doctors, nurses, the police and social workers (Scottish Association for Mental Health, 2012; Saunders et al., 2011; Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2010). Self-harm and suicide are, however, major public health concerns
making it essential for professionals across a range of sectors to have the requisite skills and knowledge to provide effective interventions (Scowcroft, 2016; Timson et al., 2012). This chapter considers these issues further in the context of adult safeguarding to explore current challenges and good practice. It begins by defining self-harm and suicide, and argues that they should be conceived as safeguarding concerns across the UK.
Current prevalence and policy are explored, along with emerging themes drawn from adult protection and safeguarding committee reports and discussions with health and social care practitioners. This highlights working with people who frequently present with self-harming and suicidal behaviours as a key challenge. A case study is then used to identify approaches for providing holistic, humane and effective responses to protect this group of adults from harm.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSafeguarding Adults
Subtitle of host publicationKey Themes and Issues
EditorsGillian MacIntyre, Ailsa Stewart, Pearse McCusker
PublisherRed Globe Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781137381019
ISBN (Print)9781137381002
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2018

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • adult Protection
  • mental health
  • suicide and self harm


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