CAMHS Self-Harm Teams and Crisis/Liaison Teams; What CAMH Nurses Bring to the Acute Moments in Young People’s Lives

  • Marie ArmstrongEmail author


In this chapter, Marie Armstrong identifies skills which are particularly important for nurses dealing with self-harm, or at times of crisis. Although these acute moments are heavily laden with emotion, the nursing skills she suggests can be used to take the crisis point and turn it into a moment for therapeutic change. As well as establishing therapeutic relationships, the importance of ‘getting alongside’ children and young people at their lowest times is stressed, as well as making a working relationship with parents and carers. Highlighting the need for appropriate boundaries and retaining an analytic mind as to processes going on, she suggests that CAMHS nurses develop a position of being ‘professionally friendly’. Finally there is a look at some of the more practical skills, and some suggestions for how nurses can implement these suggestions into practice.


  1. Baldwin L (2008) The discourse of professional identity in child and adolescent mental health services. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham. Access from the University of Nottingham repository
  2. Callaghan P, Gamble C (eds) (2015) Oxford handbook of mental health nursing, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Callaghan P, Playle J, Cooper L (eds) (2009) Mental health nursing skills. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  4. Covey SR (1989) The 7 habits of highly effective people: powerful lessons in personal change. Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. DH (2012) Compassion in practice: nursing, midwifery and care staff our vision and strategy December. Published to in electronic format only
  6. Fruggeri L (2012) Different levels of psychotherapeutic competence. J Fam Ther 34(1):91–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gray AJ (2002) Stigma in psychiatry. J R Soc Med 95(2):72–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hawton K, Bergen H, Kapur N, Cooper J, Steeg S, Ness J, Waters K (2012) Repetition of self-harm and suicide following self-harm in children and adolescents: findings from the multicentre study of self-harm in England. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 53:1212–1219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Horvath AO (2001) The alliance. Psychother Theory Res Pract Train 38(4):365–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kapur N (2017). Accessed 26 Apr 2019
  11. Lang WP, Little M, Cronen V (1990) The systemic professional: domains of action and the question of neutrality. Human Syst J Syst Consult Manag 1:39–56Google Scholar
  12. Manning JC, Walker GM, Carter T, Aubeeluck A, Witchell M, Coad J (2018) Children & Young People Mental Health Safety Assessment Tool (CYPMH SAT) study: protocol for the development and psychometric evaluation of an assessment tool to identify immediate risk of self-harm and suicide in children and young people (10–19 years) in acute paediatric hospital settings. BMJ Open 8:e020964. Scholar
  13. McDougall T, Armstrong M, Trainor G (2010) Helping children and young people who self-harm: an introduction to self-harming and suicidal behaviours for health professionals. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) (2018) Self-harm and suicide prevention competence framework: children and young people. Health Education England, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. National Collaborating Centre of Mental Health (NCCMH) (2016) Achieving better access to 24/7 urgent and emergency mental health care. Part 4: implementing the evidence-based treatment pathway for Mental Health Services for Children and Young People. NHS England, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) (2004) Self-harm: the short-term physical and psychological management and secondary prevention of self-harm in primary and secondary care (NICE Clinical Guidance 16). NICE, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2018) The code: professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, midwives and nursing associates. NMC, LondonGoogle Scholar
  18. Peplau HE (1952) Interpersonal relations in nursing. G P Putnam, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Rogers C (1951) Client-centred therapy: its current practice, implications and theory. Constable, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Schön D (1983) The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Temple Smith, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Townsend E, Wadman R, Sayal K, Armstrong M, Harroe C, Majumder P (2016a) Uncovering key patterns in self-harm in adolescents: sequence analysis using the Card Sort Task for Self-harm (CaTS). J Affect Disord 206:161–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Townsend E, Wadman R, Berry A, Sawyer C, Sayal K, Armstrong M, Harroe C, Majumder P, Vostanis P Clarke D (2016b) The ‘listen-up!’ project: understanding and helping looked-after young people who self-harm. Final report. Department of Health Policy Research Programme Project 023/0164Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hopewood, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation TrustNottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations