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© 2020 by the authors. Background: Self-harm in young people can have a substantial negative impact on the well-being and functioning of parents and other carers. The “Coping with Self-Harm” booklet was originally developed in the UK as a resource for parents and carers of young people who self-harm, and an adaptation study of this resource was conducted in Australia. This paper presents qualitative analysis of interviews with parents about their experiences and psychoeducational needs when supporting a young person who engages in self harm. Methods: The qualitative study drew on semi-structured individual and group interviews with parents (n = 19 participants) of young people who self-harm. Data were analysed using Thematic Analysis. Results: The analysis identified six themes: (1) the discovery of self-harm, (2) challenges in the parent-young person relationship, (3) parents’ need to understand self-harm, (4) parents’ emotional reactions to self-harm, (5) the importance of self-care and help-seeking among parents, and (6) the need for psychoeducational resources. Conclusion: The study highlights the need for support for parents and carers of young people who engage in self-harm, including development and adaptation of resources, such as the “Coping with Self-Harm” booklet, of which an Australian version has now been developed.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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