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International specialist to speak in Weyburn

An international specialist on self injury (or cutting) will speak at a conference in Weyburn this spring.

Kaye Randall, a Social Worker from West Columbia, South Carolina, will speak at a oneday workshop at McKenna Hall, Weyburn on Friday, April 28th.

Ms Randall is an international speaker on this topic and is co-author of the book, See My Pain! Creative Strategies for Helping Young People Who Self-Injure.

She is a clinician who has worked with children and adolescents in both in-patient and out-patient settings. She is specialized in crisis intervention and counselling for victims of child abuse and neglect.

The conference is sponsored by Sun Country Health Region's Mental Health Services. Participants to the workshop will learn about the types of self injurious behaviours, the contributing underlying factors, the self-injury cycle, and how to implement creative strategies in helping children and adolescents.

This workshop is intended for counsellors, educators, and anyone working with and interested in helping youth.

A free public presentation will be held at the Weyburn Comprehensive High School at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 27 when Ms. Randall will speak to parents and adolescents concerned with this problem.

She will offer advice on the prevention and remediation of self-injurious behaviours.

Everyone is welcome to attend the evening presentation.

The book, See My Pain!, and other books on self-injury and self-help will be sold at the door.

Henry Gobeil, youth suicide intervention worker with Sun Country Health Region, says self-injury is an attempt to deal with strong emotions, feelings of loneliness and isolation, stress, anger, depression or feelings of unworthiness.

Mr. Gobeil says the reasons for self-injury are multiple and complex.

"As inferred by the title of the workshop, "See My Pain", self-injury is often an
expression of inner pain, and a physical release to the psychological distress," he says. "It may be to ease the tension of overwhelming problems. For some, it may be a form of self punishment, to alleviate guilt for perceived poor performance. For some it may be to re-enact pain which was inflicted on them at an earlier time, or to release the pain of former physical, sexual or emotional abuse."

Mr. Gobeil says self injury is common among victims of abuse but is also seen in
environments where expression of emotions is discouraged.

"Our bodies and emotions sometimes ‘numb out' in response to traumatic experiences and abuse. Self-injury can serve this group to feel pain, and to feel pain is to feel alive. For some it may be the only coping mechanism they know, or learned from peers, or viewed as ‘cool'. For some it may be the only affordable escape, as compared to drugs and alcohol," he says.

The public is invited to call Mental Health Services at 306-842-8665 for more
information and for registration.

Media: For more information, please call Duane Schultz, Director of Adult, Child
and Youth Mental Health Services for Sun Country Health Region, at 842-8668

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