New month...new mental health highlight: Self-Injury Awareness Month!

    This month we will work towards debunking some self-injury related myths and learn coping skills to help you deal with any self-harming urges!


    937 Self Harm Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

    If you or someone you love is struggling with their mental health, there are resources available to help!

  • Facts about Self-Harm

    • At least 4% (13,128,000 people) of the US population struggles with self-inurious behaviors:
      • Cutting, scratching, carving words/symbols, or burning skin,
      • Hitting or punching oneself (e.g., banging head or other body parts against another surface),
      • Piercing the skin with sharp objects such as hairpins, safety pins, etc.,
      • Pulling out hair (e.g., on head, eyelashes, eyebrows),
      • Picking at existing wounds.

    • Possible causes of self-harm:
      • Process negative feelings,
      • Distract from their negative feelings,
      • Feel something physical (if feeling numb emotionally),
      • Develop a sense of control over life,
      • Punish themselves for any wrongdoings,
      • Express emotions that are embarrassing to show.

    • Warning signs for self-harm:
      • Unexplained frequent injuries including cuts and burns,
      • Low self-esteem,
      • Difficulty handling feelings,
      • Relationship problems or avoidance of relationships, and
      • Poor functioning at work, school or home.

    • Self-injury and suicide: While people with non-suicidal self injury do not intend to complete suicide, they may cause more harm than intended, which could result in medical complications or death. In severe/prolonged cases of self-injury, a person may become desperate about their lack of control over the behavior and its addictive nature, which may lead them to make true suicide attempts. 
    • Recovering from self-harming behaviors:
      • Identify the reason for self-harming and for quitting.
        • Tackle the underlying emotions.
        • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
      • Identify other ways of achieving the same result.
        • Find your zen.
        • Get creative.
        • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
      • Get help
        • Tell someone you trust.
        • Call/text to calm down.
        • Talk to a professional!
  • Myths about Self-Harm

    Myth 1: Self-harm is a suicide attempt.
    Fact: Self-harm can occur without suicidal ideation.

    Myth 2: Self-harm is an attention-seeking behavior.
    Fact: Individuals who self-harm are typically ashamed and want to hide their behavior.

    Myth 3: Cutting is the only form of self-harm.
    Fact: Cutting is a common form of self-harm, but there are other types of self-harming behavior.

    Myth 4: People who self-injure don’t feel pain.
    Fact: People who engage in self-harming behavior do feel pain, but they may experience it differently than those who do not self-harm.

    Myth 5: Only adolescents engage in self-harm.
    Fact: Self-harm is more common in adolescents but can occur in any age group.

    Myth 6: Self-harm is extremely rare.
    Fact: Rates of self-harm are higher than most people realize.

    Myth 7: Young people self-harm to fit in.
    Fact: Fitting in is often not the goal of self-harm.

    Myth 8: People self-injure as a way to manipulate others.
    Fact: Self-harm is not intended to be an act of manipulation.

    Myth 9: All individuals who self-harm have been abused.
    Fact: Having a history of abuse can increase the risk of self-harm, but not everyone who self-injures has been abused.

    Myth 10: Self-harm is just a phase that teens will outgrow.
    Fact: Self-harm is a serious concern that requires intervention

    Myth 11: Self-injury isn’t treatable.
    Fact: Psychological treatment is available for those who self-harm, and it can be effective.

  • My name is Ashley Crean and I am the Mental Health Coordinator (MHC) at Monmouth Regional High School. This is my first year at MRHS, but before joining the Falcon family I worked for 4 years at an alternative school for at-risk youth and students with disabilities.  I graduated from Monmouth University where I earned my BA in Psychology and Sociology, MSEd in Educational Counseling, and Post-Graduate Certificate in Professional Counseling.  I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of New Jersey and Nationally Certified Counselor with additional certifications in School Counseling, Disaster Response and Crisis Counseling, and am an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning as well as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional.  Welcome to my website, where you can learn more about the mental health services available to students, as well as access resources available for students, families, and staff. For more information, questions, and concerns, you can contact me at the following:

    • Email: acrean@monmouthregional.net
    • Phone: (732) 542-1170 x.1157
    • Fax: (732) 542-5815
    • Room #: 402

    The mental health services at Monmouth Regional High School have been designed and organized to assist students with their personal, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. There are many reasons that a student may reach out or be referred for mental health counseling: anxiety, depression, interpersonal/peer conflicts, trauma, behavioral outbursts, ADHD, LGBTQ+, personality disorders, teen issues, eating disorders, autism spectrum disorder, self-esteem, stress, relationship issues, spirituality, family conflict, domestic violence, divorce, oppositional defiance, etc. Substance use/abuse concerns should be referred to our Student Assistance Counselor (SAC), Dara Jarosz.

    The MHC provides in-school assessment, crisis intervention, counseling and referral services to students who may be experiencing personal, family, and/or peer difficulties (such as those described above). My primary goal is to support students and assist them with managing their mental health and personal challenges to maximize their success in school. In addition to individual counseling, the MHC and SAC also offer groups depending on the needs of the school community.

    If you are currently experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 911, visit your nearest emergency room, or call PerformCare at 1-877-652-7624.