OHFT Membership Matters November 2022

Trust news Psychosocial assessment following self-harm

Important new guidance for assessing patients following self-harm was launched in a special conference in Oxford. Funded by the 2019 NHS England Trailblazer initiative and organised by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust along with University of Oxford’s Centre for Suicide Research, the conference brought together more than 100 clinicians, researchers and experts by experience to discuss various aspects of psychosocial assessment of people who present to services having self-harmed. Psychosocial assessment at that point is important because it can provide a crucial opportunity for an individual in a crisis to share their problems with a mental health professional and be offered aftercare. Research, however, shows a great variation across the UK in whether such an assessment is offered and how it is conducted.

“Congratulations to Karen for her great work and also to the designer Steve Messer. There will soon be an online version of the guide which will include videos of people role-playing certain components of the psychosocial assessment. This will be an excellent training tool for both new and experienced staff and anyone involved in assessing people following self-harm. Andy Watson, Linda Thomson, Keith Hawton and Karen Lascelles .

The newly launched resource Psychosocial assessment following self- harm: A clinician’s guide aims to help clinicians conduct full and effective psychosocial assessments that can help individuals who have self-harmed – and in some cases to save lives. The guide has been co-authored by nurse consultant Karen Lascelles, psychiatric liaison, research nurse Fiona Brand and Professor Keith

Nurse consultant Karen Lascelles said: “Today has been about giving clinicians guidance and important messages to help them carry out meaningful psychosocial assessments with people following self- harm, be that in the emergency department or other settings. Hearing from individuals with lived experience is instrumental to conveying these messages and we are very fortunate to have had such rich

Hawton, Director of the Oxford Centre for Suicide Research.You can access the guide here. It is a fitting milestone in the pioneering work that Karen, Prof Hawton and others have been doing in suicide prevention, and Prof Hawton acknowledged as much in his opening address to the conference.

experiential involvement at this conference.”

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