It is necessary to understand the ethical considerations when dealing with an adolescent who intends or is engaging in self injury. There are ethical issues concerning the student. The student should be assured of confidentiality on the issues they discuss with the counselor or nurse. Additionally, there are ethical concerns on parent’s responsibility and the schools responsibility. The counselor should maintain high standards of professionalism.
It is important that the counselor is capable of detecting the symptoms of self-injury early. Majority of adolescents who engage in the self injurious acts do so when they are freshmen or when experiencing great emotional challenges. They ensure that they cannot be discovered and might continue for long if they do not get assisted (Motz, 2009).
The school authorities and parents should avail the resources necessary to encourage safety. As people begin to assist the self injurious adolescent, it is necessary to be aware of the ethical complications. Information about the self injurious adolescent should remain confidential, unless the information would prevent danger from the adolescent from causing further harm to themselves or others. Self injurious behavior should be reported even when the adolescent is not exposed to danger, but needs assistance from professionals or parents. However, self injurious behavior should not be considered as an indicator of suicidal intention. For some adolescents, injuring self relieves their tension and helps them deal with stress. Consulting with legal authorities as well as the school administration on the problem is necessary. An extensive and intensive assessment of situation is necessary. This includes; establishing the nature and frequency of the self inflicted harm. There is need to consult if the adolescent is hurting and needs care. If they are not cooperating and increase the frequency of hurting self, consulting the professional could be necessary to enable them cope with their challenges. The legal authorities may be involved in establishing the nature of injury, if it is caused by the adolescent or by another person. Medical intervention may be necessary. The adolescent could be having wounds or infection that needs treatment. Understand the emotions that cause the adolescent to hurt self and possible motivation for their actions. Enquire if they inflict their wounds or harm when alone or when with others. Be sure to know if they share objects of injury with others. Investigate what triggers the strong emotions. Moreover, find out who knows about the