The Overlooked Signs Of Self-Harm In Your School District – Security Boulevard

The Overlooked Signs Of Self-Harm In Your School District – Security Boulevard

The Overlooked Signs Of Self-Harm In Your School District – Security Boulevard 0 0 Alan Dickson

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Self-harm is a growing problem in the United States. According to data from Healthyplace, approximately two million cases of self-harm are reported every year. If you factor in the amount of cases that go unreported, that number is likely much higher.
Researchers also estimate that roughly 90% of people who self-harm begin during their early teen or pre-adolescent years. As a matter of fact, the average age at which someone starts to self-injure is just 13 years old.
What does this mean for your school district? Simply put, it’s very possible that a young student walking your halls is engaging in this type of behavior. As a threat to student safety, it’s your responsibility to identify cases of self-harm and intervene as appropriately as possible.
Unfortunately, detecting signs of self-harm isn’t always easy. To help you identify at-risk students, let’s take a look at self-harm and the often overlooked signs that might otherwise go unnoticed.
It’s important that school districts comprehend self-harm correctly. As a sensitive topic, preconceived notions of self-injury can stigmatize the behavior and lead to more harm than good. If staff members aren’t understanding, students may not feel comfortable coming forward and seeking help.
Here are a few ways people often misunderstand self-harm behavior:
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When you think about self-harm, you probably imagine a few specific behaviors: cutting, burning, scratching, or even pulling out one’s hair. Although all common types of self-injury, there are many other forms that you should be looking for in your school district.
The following self-destructive behaviors aren’t often recognized right away. Their warning signs aren’t obvious and may even be impossible to see with the naked eye. Yet, if they aren’t detected and mitigated with the right resources, they each pose a serious risk to a student’s wellbeing.
Here are some of the most overlooked signs of physical self-harm that could be occurring in your district:
Self-harm isn’t always physical. Now that most schools and their students are using digital technology on a regular basis, a new type of behavior is taking shape on the internet.
Digital self-harm refers to any act of self-aggression that takes place online rather than in the real world. According to researchers, digital self-harm is a growing danger that impacts up to 9% of American teens. Even worse, teens who digitally self-harm are up to seven times more likely to consider suicide and as much as 15 times more likely to have made an attempt.
Examples of digital self-harm include:
School districts that use cyber safety monitoring tools are also finding more digital signals of physical self-harm in school-provided technology.
[FREE WEBINAR] How Technology Fits Into Your Student Mental Health and Safety Programs, WATCH THE RECORDING HERE!
There are different reasons why students might being using these tools to express their self-harming behavior. Some are using Google Docs as a sort of digital journal where they are able to express their experiences and emotions as an outlet. Some use school-provided technology to share these behaviors as a cry for help. Because either they know that it is being monitored or they hope that there is someone out there that will help them.
Digital signs of self-harm that our customers have found in their district’s Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 apps include:
It is difficult for many districts, and particularly for technology teams who don’t have training in student mental health and support, to justify monitoring for self-harm and other toxic online behavior in their own technology. However, this means you have the opportunity to identify signs of self-harm in all its forms and make a real difference in the lives of your students and your community
With an automated cloud monitoring solution, you can automatically detect signs of self-harm risk. For instance, if a student uses a Microsoft Word document to confide in their friends that they’ve been cutting themselves at home, the platform can trigger an alert. You can adjust policies at your discretion, meaning you can customize the keywords that need to be monitored for in your cloud environment.
This added visibility is essential for self-harm and suicide intervention. Extending the power of your IT department with a cloud monitoring solution is the advantage you need to identify safety risks and better help students in need of support.
One thing that often comes up with new customers is, when a self-harm signal is flagged, what should you do next?
Here are a few best practices you can use to better respond to incidents and direct at-risk students to the appropriate resources:
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The post The Overlooked Signs Of Self-Harm In Your School District appeared first on ManagedMethods.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from ManagedMethods authored by Alexa Sander. Read the original post at: https://managedmethods.com/blog/the-overlooked-signs-of-self-harm-in-your-school-district/
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