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Bracknell Forest children and youg people’s self-harm workforce project


Health Innovation Oxford and Thames Valley (HIOTV) and University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry are collaborating on a Self-Harm Workforce Project with Bracknell Forest Council and Brighter Futures Together within Bracknell Forest in Berkshire.

We would like to engage with anyone who works with, or supports, children and young people (CYP) who live, study or receive care within Bracknell Forest. Your input will help us to shape a multidisciplinary, holistic approach to self-harm across Bracknell Forest.

This self-harm CYP workforce development project is funded and supported by Bracknell Forest public health as part of the Health and Wellbeing strategy 2022-2026.

The first step to getting involved in this project is to join our learning network. After signing up, you will receive occasional surveys and updates by email from us and our colleagues at Bracknell Forest Council.  We will not sell or distribute your email address to any other third party at any time. We look forward to keeping in touch and engaging with you as our project progresses.


Why are we focusing on children and young people’s self-harm workforce development?

Self-harm in young people is a significant public health concern with around one fifth of 15-year-olds thought to have self-harmed at some point.

The causes and triggers for self-harm are complex and those supporting young people can find self-harm a distressing or difficult issue to deal with. Understandably, those working with young people want to know how best to support them safely and appropriately. However, sources of support available vary and not always known by professionals working on the ground.

The support available to young people who self-harm is broad and varied depending on local context, and there is a need to understand these initiatives collectively across services and staffing groups.

This project has been developed following the publication of the new National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on self-harm which, for the first time, also contains recommendations for education.

If you work with young people within the Bracknell Forest area, we hope that you will be able to contribute to this project which will benefit those supporting young people locally. Join the learning network here.

What are we doing?

We want to bring together the CYP workforce from across the Bracknell Forest geography to help us better understand professionals’ knowledge, responses and confidence in supporting CYP who self-harm. We would like our approach to be empowering, connecting those closest to young people to those who can help to drive change. We want to hear from those with unique perspectives, particularly those that may be seldom heard or those that do not, ordinarily, influence decision-making in this space.

Three online launch webinars were held on Tuesday 21 February 2023 to seek initial engagement with colleagues across Bracknell Forest. We enjoyed the company of almost 100 participants on the day and we look forward to continuing the conversations we started via these events.

The slides from the learning event can be found here: Bracknell Forest Young People’s Self-Harm Workforce Project Launch Presentation.

We would like to invite you to join us on this journey as part of our Learning Network.

We have held a number of reflective sessions and collected a workforce survey. The reflective sessions were facilitated to encourage multi-disciplinary networking and sharing of ideas. The workforce survey gathered the views and experience of those working with CYP within Bracknell Forest.

As part of 2023 Mental Health Awareness Week, we hosted a webinar which anyone from Bracknell Forest was welcome to attend, “Adolescent self-harm: Which young people are most at risk, and how can we best identify and support them?”

On Wednesday 17 May 2023, Psychologist and self-harm researcher Associate Professor. Rohan Borschmann, from the University of Oxford, shared self-harm findings from the UK-wide OxWell Student Survey, as well as findings from the ongoing Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study (CATS) in Australia.

Specifically, A/Prof. Borschmann discussed the degree to which adolescents in the UK access formal, informal, and online support following self-harm, and the factors which best predicted future self-harm in the CATS study.

If you would like to learn more about this project or would like to raise any questions, please contact