Self Injury Awareness Month March 2016

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Self Injury Awareness Month

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Self-Injury Awareness Month

Understanding Self-Injury & Knowing How You Can Help

Many terms are used to describe self-injury, including self-harm and self-mutilation. Non suicidal self-injury is used to refer to situations in which the self-injury is not intended to result in death. Non suicidal self-injury, such as cutting, self-hitting, burning, and picking has been found to occur in 10-20 percent of middle and high school students in the United States.

Some people engage in non suicidal self-injury even when suicidal, which means that even though a person is having thought of suicide, self-inflicted injuries are not intended to result in death. Some people say that engaging in non suicidal self-injury helps them avoid acting on suicidal thoughts. Some young children may engage in self-injurious acts from time to time but often grow out of it.

Some reasons for self-injury may be a Serious mental health disorder such as depression, psychotic disorder, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. Also, youth  and young adults who have been abused or abandoned, to manage painful feelings of current or past trauma, to punish themselves, to feel pain or relief, to show control of their body.

How to Assist

Let the young person know that you have noticed the injuries or other signs. Avoid expressing a strong negative reaction to the self-injury and discuss it calmly with the young person. When asking the person about the self-injury, it is important that you have reflected on your own state of mind and are sure you are prepared to calmly deal with their answer.
Self-Injury is a coping mechanism; therefore, stopping self-injury should not be the focus of the conversation. Instead, look at the alternative ways to relieve the distress. Do not trivialize the feelings or situation that have led to the self-injury. Do not punish the person, especially by threatening to withdraw care. Intervene in a supportive and nonjudgmental way. Remember to remain calm and avoid expressions of shock or anger. Express your concern for the person's well-being. Ask whether you can do anything to alleviate the distress.
Encourage Professional Help & Self-Care

Medical Emergency:
  • If the young person has harmed themselves by taking an overdose of medication or consuming poison, call  911 immediately, because the risk of death or serious harm is high.
  • Call 911 if the young person is confused, disorientated, or unconscious or if they have bleeding that is rapid or pulsing.

Obtaining Mental Health Care:
  • Help the young person and parents or caregivers to access mental health services. Services may be available through a community mental health Center, a physician, a child or and adolescent psychiatrist, or other mental health professional.
  • It is also important to help family members access services, such as support groups and other types of peer support.
Self- Care:
  • Have I decided what I will do for self-care?
  • Who can I speak with now?
  • Who can I call if I feel upset or distressed later?
The San Diego American Indian Health Center offers many services that are open and available to the community. We provide services such as Medical and Dental, Behavioral Health and a Youth Center. We, also offer services to access care, case management, and Community Wellness programs for adults and youth.

If you are in need of Behavioral Health services our team offers psychiatric care, therapeutic counseling and substance abuse treatment and recovery.

Contact us for more information or assistance with patient enrollment at
2630 First Ave.
San Diego, CA. 92103
Join us on May 7th & 8th for our Annual Powwow
San Diego American Indian Health Center's
Contact the Youth Center for more information or for assistance with enrollment.
Ask for Ruthie Inacay or Larry Edmonds at 619-531-1938

Don't forget to help us get the word out, please forward this email to a friend and ask them to click on the quote "Join Our Mailing List" link or image above. We hope to use these emails to provide members of the community with tips and suggestions for maintaining good health.

The San Diego American Indian Health Center provides comprehensive medical, dental, and behavioral health care services that are respectful of Native American cultural values. Established in 1979 to provide health care services to urban American Indians, our organization has grown over 35 years to become recognized as a Federally Qualified Health Center. Our patient-centered health home now serves a diverse community of San Diegans and is guided by the vision of our founders to promote excellence in health care with respect for custom and tradition.  We accept health insurance coverage available through the Indian Health Service, Medi-Cal, Covered California, and diverse private insurance plans, and we provide enrollment assistance to the uninsured. 
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