Self-harm is a way of expressing deep distress.
Self-harm is a way of responding to lived experiences, either to relieve the intense pain and distress, and/or as a coping strategy that keeps a person alive, a difficult concept and phenomenon. The point when a person who has self-harmed attends A&E is crucial and can influence further contacts with healthcare professionals. This paper is for those who wish to offer effective wound care treatment and understanding from a service user’s perspective, whose needs and desired outcomes may differ from those of the clinician. For the purpose of this article, the manner in which the wound occurred is irrelevant; the setting is in an A&E department.