Suicide & Deliberate Self Harm

It is important to understand that Deliberate Self Harm (DSH) is a term that describes a behaviour and is not a diagnosis. The reasons why someone may harm themselves are multitudinous and in any one individual are likely to be dependent on may factors including personality traits, life events, physical and mental illness and cultural factors.

Deliberate self harm overlaps suicide in that some acts of DSH are actually failed suicide attempts and indeed that some completed suicides were inadvertent consequences of acts of self harm.

Whilst DSH can be in an attempt to mobilse help or demonstrate distress the phrase “cry for help” is of little utility with an associated stigma that may block appropriate help being provided.


Suicide & Deliberate Self harm (.pdf)

Link to Blog posts featuring suicide & DSH

Internal video resources

This is a somewhat long video (almost 50 minutes) so you may wish to view sections or watch it in chunks.
External links
— Royal College of Psychiatrists¬†report entitled “Self-harm, suicide and Risk: Helping People who Self-harm” (.pdf)
— Podcasts from the Royal College of Psychiatrists discussing a study looking at prevalence and risk factors for suicidal ideation, plans and attempts, variation in suicide attempts in relation to weather,¬†a visit to London school following the suicide of a pupil and suicide rates in migrants to the UK from South Asia
— A Guardian article on suicide in literature
— Wikipedia articles on suicide and self harm
— An interesting video from the BBC with Ruby Wax interviewing a man who attempted suicide and chats to Caroline about her experiences of self harm.

A video on YouTube from 1965 recounts events culminating in a suicide attempt. A panel comments on the incidents of suicide, the effect on survivors and the need for preventive programs. (Somewhat dated but still of interest).


This video on Vimeo is not factual but a drama described as,

“An ambitious mover is blindsided when he discovers that one of the pieces of furniture left behind for him is a suicidal daughter with 20 minutes left to live.”