Ashley wrote this fantastic post on harm reduction as it applies to self harm. Read on for more info, its an awesome read!
Harm reduction is most often used in reference to addictions. The idea is to accept that the user is continuing to use because that is what’s currently most able to meet their needs, and then identify ways in which they can do so that minimizes associated harms. Harm reduction is a widely accepted public health approach, and in addiction can include safer smoking/injecting supplies, opioid substitution therapy like methadone, and supervised consumption sites.
The concept of harm reduction is also applicable to self-harm. Harm reduction strategies can decrease associated complications while ideally working on the underlying problems that contribute to the self-harm behaviour. A journal article I found on self-harm said that while harm reduction is a beneficial approach, service providers may be reluctant to embrace it because they don’t want to come across as encouraging self-harm or giving people ideas about the most dangerous places to cut…
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