Supporting adults who self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts could now be easier for GPs, thanks to work by Bristol Health Partners’ Improving Care in Self-harm Health Integration Team (STITCH HIT).
STITCH HIT has created new resources on REMEDY for practitioners in primary care to help support those over the age of 18 years who self-harm or experience suicidal thoughts. REMEDY is a pathway and referral support tool, providing quick and easy access to clinical pathways and guidelines for GPs across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
The pandemic has seen increasing numbers of people struggling with their mental health. Feedback to the HIT from GPs suggested that having some concise and accessible resources would be useful, and the HIT also asked people who self-harm what they thought needed to be included.
The HIT has compiled a series of short, up to date documents available on REMEDY, which look at key areas to consider when supporting this patient group. The documents cover the functions of self-harm; risk assessing in self-harm and suicide; suicide risk red flags; safety planning; and tips for medically unexplained symptoms. Poems written by a person who self-harms, explaining their experiences of accessing treatment and support, are also included.
STITCH HIT co-director Dr Sandra Walker, who works in Liaison Psychiatry at Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, says:
“We’re delighted that these resources are now live on REMEDY. We hope they will be of benefit to GPs and patients, and we will be looking at how they are being used over the coming months. We are keen to receive any feedback that practitioners may have, and we will be reviewing the resources regularly to ensure they remain up to date and relevant.”
Amy Chrzanowski, Mental Health Nurse Prescriber at the University of Bristol Students’ Health Service, who co-wrote the resources with Sandra, adds:
"It is exciting to see these resources are now live on REMEDY. Working during the pandemic this past 18 months, services have been busier than ever. I am hopeful that practitioners will find these resources of benefit to help support our student population.”