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Self-Harm and Suicidal Thoughts in Children and Young People
Self-Harm and Suicidal Thoughts in Children and Young People
Self-Harm and Suicidal Thoughts in Children and Young People

Overview - Self-Harm and Suicidal Thoughts in Children and Young People

Self-harm and suicidal thoughts can affect children of any age. The number of girls aged ten to 19 in the UK who self-harm increased by 68 per cent between 2011 and 2017, research from the University of Manchester and Keele University showed.

Meanwhile, the NSPCC's Childline handled an average of 60 calls each day in 2017 from children reporting suicidal thoughts.

Mental health problems among children appear to be on the rise, so self-harm awareness and an understanding of how to support young people reporting suicidal thoughts is vital for anyone who works in a safeguarding position.

The Virtual College Self-Harm and Suicidal Thoughts in Children and Young People course has been created with this in mind.

Why take this course?

This e-learning course is designed to educate learners about the warning signs and potential risk factors for self-harm in children, and the steps they should take if they believe a young person is having suicidal thoughts.

After completing the course, learners will be able to:

  • List the warning signs that might suggest self-harm or suicidal thought in children and young people
  • Explain what you should do if you suspect self-harm
  • Outline the risk factors and possible causes of self-harm and suicidal thoughts in children and young people

Who is this course for?

This digital learning course is for anyone who comes into contact with children and young people as part of their job and may find themselves having to listen to reports of self-harm or suicidal thoughts. NHS staff, teachers, social workers, youth workers and even parents would all benefit from taking the module.

Course lesson plan

This course covers the following lesson plan:

  • Introduction
  • Self-harm definitions
  • Current facts and figures
  • Callie’s story
  • Psychological factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Biological factors
  • Alfie’s story
  • Examples of self-harm
  • Warning signs – self-harm
  • Responding to the signs
  • Self-harm risk factors
  • Warning signs – suicide
  • Communication
  • Alternative coping strategies
  • Other agencies
  • Early Help Assessment
  • Local support
  • Summary

Course accreditation

The content of this course has been independently certified as conforming to universally accepted Continuous Professional Development (CPD) guidelines.


After completing this course, learners will be able to download and print a Virtual College certificate for their records.

Course duration

This e-learning course should take between an hour and 90 minutes to complete, but this really depends on each learner's individual learning speed and how quickly or slowly they absorb the study material. With e-learning, people can take as long as they need.

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements.

How It Works

How it Works

This is an online course which is studied via the Virtual College Learning Management System, Enable. All of the training is taken online. The course is self-paced so you decide how fast or slow the training goes. You can also revisit the training material, even after you have completed the course.

Four easy steps to e-learning

Step 1: Find a course

You can buy one or more courses online for yourself or others and, whether you know what you’d like to study or would simply like to browse, finding a course is easy.

Here are some ways you can quickly find the information you need:

  • Search for a course using search box
  • Click "courses" on the top navigation. This page will show a complete list of courses, ordered by our best sellers and new releases
  • Browse courses by category, for example Safeguarding

Step 2: Buy the course

When you've found the course you want simply click on “Add to basket”. You can then continue shopping or check out and make a secure payment via the PayPal payment screen. This allows you to pay with most popular credit or debit cards or your PayPal account, and receive your receipt by email.

All our payments are dealt with by PayPal; one of the world’s most well-known payment providers – Great Britain’s no 1 preferred online and mobile payment method, so you can be sure that your payment will be safe and secure. Here at Virtual College we never even get to see your credit card details!

Once your purchase has gone through you will be able to continue to a login screen. Enter your name and create a password if prompted. This will log you into our Learning Management System (LMS) where you will be able to take the course or allocate it to other people.

You can purchase more than 10 courses online, however if you wish to purchase more than 10 courses, and you would like to be invoiced in advance, you can e-mail us on or contact our sales team on 01943 885 085.

Step 3: Take the course

For the best possible internet browser experience we recommend you use Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11 or Firefox.

You will get a better learner experience if you have sound enabled. Most computers come with built-in speakers, but the narration will generally be written in text on the screen for you to read if you don't have sound turned on.

The course is interactive and you may need to click on parts of the screen before you can advance. This will be obvious as the narration and text will tell you what to do or the links will pulse and flash. The system will remember where you left off and take you back there, but you can go over any part of it as many times as you want to and take as long as you want.

You can write your own notes for the course and print them off or simply store them to access later any time you view your course.

When you get to the end, you will be presented with an assessment to check your understanding. Don't worry; in most cases you can take this assessment three times at no extra cost, and we have policies and procedures in place for adding further attempts.

Step 4: Your certificate

You will be able to print your own certificate at the end of the course.

Some courses also include the option of a high-quality posted certificate, for example our Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene courses.


Bulk discounts

Bulk discounts are available on purchases of more than 10 courses.

If you wish to discuss a large individual order for this course, and/or would like to be invoiced in advance, please call our sales team on 01943 885 085 to make an enquiry.

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+44 (0)1943 605 976

Virtual College

Marsel House


West Yorkshire

LS29 8DD

Awards for footer
Gold and silver award winners at the Learning Technologies Awards 2017 - including gold for excellence in the design of learning content.


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