“SELF-HARM: Why Teens Do It and What Parents Can Do to Help”


Tomorrow can be different…

There is nothing more agonising for parents than to see cuts on their daughter’s thighs, or bruises or burns on their son’s arms, knowing the behaviour was intentional and likely to be repeated. “SELF-HARM: Why Teens Do It and What Parents Can Do to Help”, provides parents with hope.


Don’t tackle this alone…

If you have a child who is struggling with self-harm, you are not alone. Approximately 10% of young people experiment with self-harm. Yet, it remains distressing and difficult for parents and caring adults to understand, as it seems to go against every innate instinct of self-protection and survival.

Michelle’s latest book, “SELF-HARM: Why Teens Do It and What Parents Can Do To Help” is full of practical, evidence-based strategies to help parents and professionals prevent, understand and response well to self-harm.

In this book I will reveal:

  • The latest research, included the new phenomenon digital self-harm

  • Over 40 evidence based strategies grounded in 20 years hands on experience

  • Wisdom from nationally recognised experts, young people, parents and professionals

  • A clear understanding of how to support a child who is self-harming

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Here’s a fraction of what’s inside…

Page 9.  An eye-opening definition of self-harm.  Without this understanding, self-harm is difficult to fully grasp.

Page 18. The warning signs that parents need to be looking for if they are concerned about their child’s mental health.

Page 11.  Key research explaining how long teenagers usually use self-harm as a coping strategy and its impact into adulthood.

Page 11. A research-based answer to the question, do young people who self-harm want to die? 

Page 21.  How gender interacts with self-harm, and why self-awareness and self-care are critical to foster in our boys.

Page 29. Insights into why self-harm typically begins in the middle school years and how to support a child’s mental health during this time.

Page 34 – 41.  A psychological and physiological understanding of why young people want to hurt themselves.  Parents will come away with a clear understanding of why self-harm is so addictive.

Page 43 - 51.  The role of the internet in self-harm. Three different strategic responses parents can have to managing a young person’s online life.

Page 58. A clear understanding of how friends can help their friends.

Page 61. What fake profiles and IP addresses have got to do with self-harm.

Page 89. A step by step guide to talking to a teenager about self-harm. This section gives parents the language and tools to have critical conversations and delves into what to say and what not to say.

Page 109.  If you are not sure when to seek support , this section will give you a range of options to consider.

Page 131. The delay, distracts and decide strategy to ride out an intense emotional wave.

Page 135. A list of apps that support self-care.

Page 132 - 135. Over 80 self-care strategies to replace self-harm, and two very specific strategies I have personally seen help time and time again.

Page 142 - 143.  If you are concerned about your teenager’s safety this section will give you a safety plan to follow. 

Page 169.  A guide to taking care of siblings and establishing family routines that support mental health is featured on this section.  

Page 173. Eight stories of hope from young people and parents who have walked the journey you are now walking.

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What people are saying about this book…

Michelle Mitchell's book SELF HARM is a much needed really valuable exploration of one of the most misunderstood and frightening behaviours that occurs for many young people on their adolescent journey. Michelle's wisdom, warmth and compassion mirror what is really needed for those who are supporting a young person who is self-harming. This is a must for families, schools and community organisations that work with young people. Together we can all make a positive difference with really accurate knowledge and understanding that is found is this excellent book.

Maggie Dent (Author, Educator and Parents and Resilience Specialist)

Parents are often frightened and overwhelmed when they discover their child is self-harming. It is an issue that is not spoken about enough. This book is packed with research, expert advice and very brave personal stories, which will provide many parents with support and hope. Michelle has done an incredible job in addressing a very sensitive topic. 

Collett Smart (Psychologist, Educator and Author)

With compelling wisdom and compassion, Michelle Mitchell has lifted the curtain on self-harm. She draws on important research and extensive experience and provides vivid examples that are so raw and so ordinary in their truth, as to give a strong and poignant voice, not only to those who are self-harming, but also to the ones who love them. This book traverses that gap. It is an intelligent, thoughtful, and much-needed resource, empowering all who read it with powerful insights, a road map of practical strategies, and above all else, hope. 

Karen Young (Author, Speaker, Parenting and Child & Adolescent Anxiety Specialist)

This is a practical, compassionate, best-practice book that is accessible to any parent. Michelle combines understanding with genuine care to help any family with teens who struggle. I read every word! Highly recommended!

Dr Justin Coulson (Bestselling Author and one of Australia's leading Parenting Experts)

This book is a much needed resource for any parent, carer or educator that is dealing with a young person in the grips of self-harm.  This resource is incredibly timely and not only provides sound and well researched guidance, but also hope and a way forward.

Sharon Witt (Best-selling author, Educator and Presenter and Founder of Resilient Kids Conference)

Michelle goes where few have gone before, in tackling the distressing, confusing and fraught issue of self-harm in our young people.This book is a rational, evidence-based exploration of the behaviour, sorting fact from fiction. Most importantly, it gives parents – who can so often feel helpless - practical  advice and essential tools to aid them in responding in the best way possible to their child. Michelle has done us all a great service in bringing us this invaluable title.

Melinda Tankard Reist (Author, Speaker, co-founder Collective Shout)

Reading Michelle’s excellent approach to this challenging subject of ‘Self Harming,’ has given me a much greater awareness and understanding of this issue, and I feel better equipped to help individuals and families thus affected.  At times it was disturbing and painful to read, but Michelle has ensured there is hope strewn throughout the pages. This book will empower parents, teachers, laypeople and professionals as they help navigate children through the challenges of self-harm. 

Pastor Anne Luliano (Founder of Chaplaincy Australia and NSW Ambulance Chaplain, Chaplaincy Trainer)

SELF HARM should be required reading for every parent with children. Michelle Mitchell presents facts and figures, personal stories from families of self- harmers and most importantly, she gives adults the tools and resources necessary to handle this issue, including behaviors that could be a signal of self-harm, how to compassionately approach the subject with the young person and the differences between females and males who self-harm.  This book equips the reader to be proactive by raising awareness, know what the next step(s) are and to let parents know that they are not alone.

Michelle Koe Page, PharmD (Mom, Pharmacist, Consultant and Co-founder of Unbreakable Moms)

Here’s what to do next…

For only $24.99 (+ postage), you’ll receive my book. It will be posted by Australia Post anywhere in Australia. Books are posted daily.

For a limited time I am offering a 10% discount. Please use the discount code: SELFHARM at the checkout.

PS. If you have skipped straight to this point, let me summarise. My book ($24.99 + postage) is full of practical, evidence-based strategies to help parents and professionals prevent, understand and response well to self-harm. I post within Australia, daily.

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Michelle cropped.jpg

Michelle is an educator, author and award-winning speaker with a special interest in adolescent self-harm. A feature of her career was establishing the Youth Excel Centre, a multidisciplinary clinic which offered psychology and mentoring services to thousands of young people, including many who self-harmed. Michelle’s hands-on experience in the health and wellbeing sector enables her to offer practical, yet heart-felt wisdom. Her inspiring message and fresh voice offer hope for parents seeking to navigate this confronting and often misunderstood issue. She lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband and two teenagers.

Michelle Mitchell
Author, Speaker, Educator


Disclaimer:  The information contained in this book should not substitute medical and/or professional advice, or personal judgement. The author and publisher accept no responsibility for any action taken as a result of this material. Names have been changed or omitted to protect privacy at the request of schools and parents.