Shared learning database

No Secrets
Published date:
July 2011

No Secrets, a voluntary organisation, provides self-injury specific training sessions around self-injury to local professionals who may come into contact with people who self-injure.

Does the example relate to a general implementation of all NICE guidance?
Does the example relate to a specific implementation of a specific piece of NICE guidance?


Aims and objectives

To improve the overall quality of care provided to those who self-injure. To help raise awareness of self-injury. To help educate those working with people who self-injure. To improve the understanding of self-injury from the service users perspectives.

Reasons for implementing your project

Back in 2007, No Secrets was founded to provide peer support to those affected by self-injury. The need had been identified by the co-founders, who at the time were struggling to come to terms with their own issues with the problem. In 2009, many of the No Secrets members expressed and discussed concerns relating to treatment they had received from medical and non-medical staff, around their self-injury. The stories were sometimes unbelievable to hear and it was difficult to understand how somebody could be treated so badly. We felt that it was the lack of understanding around self-injury was the main issue that needed to be addressed. Through improving understanding and raising awareness, we hoped we could improve the experience of care for service users and their families.

How did you implement the project

We started to provide basic awareness sessions back in 2009 and the whole session was designed and delivered by No Secrets members (all of whom have/do self-injure themselves). It was difficult at first to raise our profile, however we now have a high demand for the training we deliver and have trained over 200 professionals in just under 2 years. The training we provide is free of charge, we received funding from The Big Lottery.

Key findings

Monitoring and evaluation takes place during the sessions and afterwards through evaluation forms which are anonymous and give the trainees a chance to be honest about the session. Up to now, all our trainees have given positive feedback about the content and delivery of the sessions, stating that the personal experiences and the honesty of our trainers is very effective, and it helps them to understand more about self-injury. Current group members have commented on the positive difference in the support they have received from staff members who have been on the training.

Key learning points

The success in our work is our unique delivery - there are no staff members delivering our training. We give examples of good/bad practice based on previous experiences of our own, we cover NICE guidance to all who attend to ensure they are aware of the standards they should be working within and we provide up-to-date statistics for local A&E departments (ie, number of presentations within past 12 months for self-inflicted injuries). Avoid making training like this mandatory - people will lose interest. Make the training available to absolutely anybody who wants to learn more. Base most of your work on the experiences of yourself or people you know. This is far more effective than textbook language. The more effective your sessions become, the more people will want to attend - word of mouth is a great way to get the word out there, but it will only happen if what you are doing is really touching people and getting through to them.

Contact details

Kerri Jones
Co-founder and Manager
No Secrets

Is the example industry-sponsored in any way?