A Space to Talk: An evaluation of the WISH Centre’s services with young people who self-harm

Centre for Mental Health, November 2018

How can services meet the needs of young people who self-harm? The report analyses outcome data and by enganging with users of WISH services and stakeholders, finds that the WISH Centre’s work makes a difference to young people, by combining counselling and psychotherapy with facilitated peer support and outreach to young people in schools and communities. Young people who attend WISH have far fewer A&E attendances during that time than before, and at least two-thirds of young people had improved wellbeing after receiving therapy and over 80% reduce or stop self-harming. It concludes that The WISH Centre’s approach creates a safe space in which young people can get expert help in dealing with difficult issues and feelings while also helping each other. And by reaching out into schools and communities it helps to tackle stigma and make it easier for young people to seek help.  The report calls for:

  • CCGs and local authorities across the country to commission services similar to WISH to support young people struggling with self-harm;
  • Commissioning more for young men, and a specific offer for young people who identify as LGBT;
  • More support for parents, carers, teachers and other professionals;
  • Awareness-raising and myth-busting about self-harm to encourage young people to seek help.

Click here to view the full report.