This CPD approved online self-harm training course has been created to help people working with children and adults identify the warning signs of self-harm and understand what to do if self-harm is suspected. The self-harm course comes with an instant digital certificate on completion and takes 1-2 hours to complete.

This course was reviewed and updated on 16th October 2023

Self harm awareness key information
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Self harm awareness key information
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Course Overview


  • Intermediate
  • 1-2 Study Hours
  • Online Study
  • Self-Printed Certificate


  • 3 CPD Points
  • CPD Certified

Course description

Being able to identify and understand self-harm and its causes is crucial for anyone who works with vulnerable children young people or adults. This training will help learners to understand what to do if they suspect someone is potentially self-harming.

Being able to identify and understand self-harm and its causes is crucial for anyone who works with vulnerable children, young people or adults. This training will help learners to understand what to do if they suspect someone is potentially self-harming.

Mental health problems among children and young people seem to be on the rise, so self-harm awareness and an understanding of how to support young people who are at risk of self-harm is vital for anyone who has safeguarding responsibilities.

What's covered in this Self-Harm course?

Our online Self-Harm training course is broken down into the following sections and can be completed at your own pace.

The course includes:

ModuleWhat it includes


This introduction will give you the overall learning outcomes of the course such as explaining what is meant by self-harm, describing how prevalent self-harm is, identifying and explaining risk factors for self-harm and outlining why adolescents are at an increased risk.

Understanding, Identifying and Reducing the Risk of Self-Harm

This section will help to improve your understanding on how to support children and young people who could be self-harming. We define self-harm and describe its different forms, list the risk factors for self-harm, and identify those most at risk, describe the cycle of self-harm, and outline the indicators that someone might be self-harming and more. This section contains case studies, statistics and challenges to help confirm your understanding.
Responding to Self-HarmWhen dealing with an individual who is self-harming, it is important to know how to support them effectively. After completing this section you will be able to describe how to support someone who is self-harming and explain how to respond to someone who has engaged in self-harm, or could be at risk of self-harming. You will also explore the idea that some of those who self-harm may experience difficulties when communicating about their condition and give you the tools to help them. This section contains downloadable resources and challenges.
ChallengesThis final section will outline the two main theories of self-harm. It will also examine the therapies and medications that someone who is self-harming may engage with. After completing this section you will be able to outline the two main theories of self-harm - the Early Maladaptive Schema Theory and the Diathesis Stress Model. You'll also be able to list the medications available to someone who self-harms and describe the various forms of therapy that can support those who self-harm.

The course includes a range of scenarios to enable to learner to reflect on own practice and engage in their learning; it also includes knowledge check challenges throughout.

Who should take this Self-Harm course?

This course is suitable for teachers, teaching assistants, social workers, police, volunteers, care workers and school support staff. It is also suitable for all employees (in any work environment) who would benefit from understanding more about mental health and how to support themselves.


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


This online Self-Harm training course will take approximately one to two hours to complete, depending on how quickly learners can study and absorb the material. Learners do not have to complete all the training in one session as progress is recorded throughout.

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this course.

Assessment and Certificate

After completing all of the training material you will be able to take the online assessment which consists of 10 questions and has a pass mark of 75%. Once you have undertaken all of the activities, passed the online assessment and completed the relevant evaluation you will be able to download and print your certificate.

You will learn

  • Define self-harm and its different forms
  • Recognise risk factors and who is most at risk
  • Describe the cycle of self-harm
  • Outline the indicators of someone self-harming

Who is it for?

Roles including:

  • Teachers
  • Teaching assistants
  • Education workers
  • Social workers
  • Volunteers
  • Police officers

How the online courses work

  • Find a course

    To begin searching for your online training you can click on the course category section on our website and browse through all of our training categories.

    Alternatively if you already know the title of the training you’re looking for you can use the search bar located in the centre of the homepage and go directly to the course you want.

  • Buy the course

    When buying one of our courses, you will need to enter a valid email address which will be used to create your account with our Learning Management System – Enable – where you will take the training. We will also send your purchase receipt to this email address, and any additional courses purchased in future using the same email address will be added to your system account.

    Once you have purchased a course, you will be able to send this course to other people using your system account with Enable by entering the new learner’s email address so that they may access the training and set up their own system account with our Learning Management System.

    If you are not 100% satisfied with your course then we offer a 30-day, no hassle money-back guarantee. To request a refund, you should email our learner support team with your receipt stating why you would like to be reimbursed. You, or your learners, must not have completed the training in order to make a valid refund claim. Any claim made after the training has been completed will be invalidated.

  • Take the course

    This online course consists of a series of pages in which an instructor will talk learners through the lesson material. Pages may include supporting pictures, graphs, animation or extra sounds to help with the learning where appropriate. Some lessons will include challenges/quizzes to help learners stay engaged and interested in the material. Lessons can be taken in any order and each lesson may be paused and resumed at any stage.

    The course is self-paced so learners decide how fast or slow the training goes. There is no deadline for completion but some of our courses have a test at the end to check that learners have understood the material. If the course has a test at the end then learners are required to achieve a 75% pass mark to successfully complete the course. Once learners have passed the test they are awarded a certificate, which can either be downloaded digitally or sent as a physical copy if this option was chosen when purchasing the course.

  • Your Certificate

    Upon completion of any of our courses, learners will be able to download a digital certificate from Virtual College which will include the accrediting bodies logo where applicable, the learner's name, the title of the course and the date of completion.

    If you have purchased the posted certificate option, available on selected courses, a high quality, seal embossed, certificate will be sent out the following working week after completion.