Suicide and Self-Harm: Understanding and Helping Children and Adolescents who Experience Suicidal Ideation and who use Self-Harm to Cope with Difficult Feelings and Experiences

Delivered by

Christina Enright


Format options

In Person | Online

Duration options

4 hrs | 6 hrs (1 day)


This training can be adapted to a diverse range of contexts, and further bespoke elements can be added on request.

Content Summary

There are concerns within the mental health field about the rising rates of suicidal ideation and self-harm in children and teenagers.

We know that understanding and connected relationships as well as the full presence of adults who are able to remain emotionally centred in the face of such distressed and distressing behaviour, holds the key to helping these children and adolescents to learn healthier ways of soothing themselves and expressing their difficult feelings. Therefore, developing an understanding of the roots of suicidal ideation and self-harming behaviour is crucial if we are going to be of help to the child.


Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this training you can learn about:

  • what constitutes self-harm in children/adolescents?
  • what is known from research about the underlying causes of suicidal ideation and self-harm including the underlying neurobiological mechanisms
  • The concept of risk management and the importance of carers and professionals having  support for themselves
  • How to talk to a child or young person about suicidal ideation, self-harm and their complex feelings
  • How to best support a child or adolescent who is at risk of suicide or self-harming- helping to develop more healthy coping and resilience
  • The importance of self-care for anyone caring for highly distressed and at-risk children.

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Bespoke Training

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Training delivered by

Christina Enright

RN, BSc Psychology, Dip in Family Therapy, MA Child Psychotherapy, Dip Clinical Supervision.

Over the past 17 years, Christina has worked as a psychotherapist with children, adolescents, birth parents, foster carers and adoptive parents. This followed on from 20 years working as a nurse in the NHS. Her experience includes the development of a multidisciplinary clinical service for families experiencing trauma and attachment problems who were reluctant to engage with main-stream social care and mental health services. From 2015-2017 Christina provided trauma consultancy to the clinical team developing a children’s service within the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in the UK.

She also delivers training on child development, trauma and attachment both within the NHS and other education and social care systems across the UK and Ireland.  Her special interest is in early childhood development and the impact of trauma on a child’s developing capacities, functioning and behaviour. From her experience working with children who have endured developmental trauma characterised by neglect and abuse, she has found it necessary to use a comprehensive integrated approach in order to address the multiple complexities which such children present with.

Christina returned to live in Ireland in 2016 and currently works as a Developmental Trauma and Attachment specialist providing training, assessment and clinical interventions on behalf of Tusla Child and Family Agency and in independent practice with birth and adoptive families.