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Suicide and Self-Harm Offender-Specific Screening Tools

While the terms suicide and self-harm are often used interchangeably, it is important to be clear that they are conceptually different. Suicide is a self-inflicted act with the intention to cause death, whereas an act of self-harm may be the precedent to an act of suicide, but it can also exist as a concept in its own right as an intentional act of harm without suicidal intent. Self-harm is intentional, often repetitive, and often constitutes a coping mechanism to provide temporary relief from emotional distress. The crucial differentiation between suicidal behavior and self-harm lies in the nature of motivational intent underlying the action. This distinction makes the early identification of those who are at risk of self-harm or suicide more difficult and the screening ...

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