General Information: As a medical professional you might be one of the first professionals to discover that your patient is self-injuring. How you respond to this knowledge can set the stage for whether your patient will get the help they need or not.
Don't ignore the behavior. Many people, including professionals believe that the behavior is "merely an attention seeking device". Which should be ignored to prevent it from getting worse. This couldn't be further from the truth. Self-injury is usually a desperate coping strategy. If a person is self-injuring, the first thing that should come to mind is that they need a mental health evaluation. Even if the injury itself is not severe, it still represents the need for further evaluation.