We're celebrating 10 Days of Membership! Today's Gift: $20 off your professional membership with promo 10DAYS20OFF
Training, policies and tools to help HR prevent and respond to harassment claims.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Develop your HR competencies and knowledge in-person in 12 U.S. cities or virtually.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
Inflicting wounds on one's own body could indicate a serious mental health condition.
Investigate the matter promptly. Cutting one’s own body is a self-harming behavior that could indicate that an individual is under extreme emotional stress or has a serious mental health condition.
For some people, slicing their skin provides a temporary feeling of relief from emotional pain. But it is often followed by shame and guilt and could even result in a serious physical injury such as an infection or an excessive loss of blood.
Observe the situation. People who self-harm might withdraw from others. They might wear long sleeves to conceal their injuries. If appropriate based on your observations, ask the employee if she or he needs help.
Self-harming behavior could be the symptom of a protected disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the statute, employers are permitted to ask a worker medical questions if they believe a direct threat is present.
Consider referring the worker to your organization’s employee assistance program. Check your health plan for available mental health benefits, such as counseling sessions. Free hotlines and helplines also are available from nonprofit organizations. In addition, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, which may manifest themselves in self-harming behaviors. If your organization is covered under the FMLA, offer the employee a medical certification form to determine whether his or her condition qualifies for coverage.
Of course, you can’t force a person to seek medical or psychological help. But if the situation becomes grave, and you believe there’s an immediate threat of suicide, call emergency medical services.
Regan Gross, SHRM-SCP, is an HR knowledge advisor with the Society for Human Resource Management.
Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in again before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
Five key facts about High-energy visible (HEV) a.k.a. “blue light”
Become a SHRM Member
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies