Assignment: Self-Harm

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January 5, 2018

Assignment: Self-Harm

One of the more frightening child and adolescent issues is suicide. Suicide is a tragic event and is the third leading cause of death among

adolescents (Somers-Flanagan & Somers-Flanagan, 2007, p. 155). Assessing suicidal children and adolescents as well as those who self-mutilate can be

very difficult for many clinicians, and it takes skill to assess these issues accurately. Clinicians must be able to differentiate between

suicidality and self-mutilation in order to assess the problem and develop interventions effectively.
In most cases, suicide and self-mutilation (self-harm) assessments are conducted using clinical interviews. The most foundational principle in

evaluating for self-harm is for the clinician to establish a positive working relationship with the child or adolescent. A valid assessment flows

from a good working relationship because trust is established and communication is open. A good relationship does not negate the need to assess

clinically the severity of the issue; therefore, clinicians must be skilled in assessing for self-harm.
For this Assignment, review the media program Mood Disorders and Self-Harm,and consider the differences between suicidality and self-mutilation.

Also, consider why it is critical to assess these two conditions accurately. Also, review Suicide Assessment Procedures, Documentation, and Risk

Factors(Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flanagan, 2007, p. 179–180) and Child and Adolescent Suicide Risk Factors and Warning Signs located in this

week’s resources. Think about the importance of the suicide assessment to determine suicide risk in conjunction with common risk factors and warning

signs.

Assignment: Self-Harm

The Assignment (2–3 pages):
• Analyze the standard components of an adolescent suicide assessment and explain the importance of each component in assessing for suicide risk and

why.
• Describe at least one component you might add or take away from the suicide assessment and explain why.
• Explain two differences between suicidality and self-mutilation in terms of the severity of each issue. Then, explain how severity relates to

possible intention of a child or adolescent presenting with suicidality or self-mutilation. Be specific and use the week’s resources and current

literature to support your response.
Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all

resources, including those in the week’s resources for this course.


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