Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Self-Harm Causes, Symptoms & Signs

Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital offers high-quality services and support for adults and senior adults who are struggling with self-harm. Located in Chattanooga, TN, Erlanger is a leading provider of self-harm treatment.

Understanding Self-Harm

Learn about self-harm

Although often taboo and misunderstood, self-harm is a very dangerous mental health concern. Self-harm occurs when an individual purposefully inflicts pain on themselves, often through cutting, burning, biting, or scratching. A common misconception is that individuals who self-harm are suicidal, but that is not always the case.

Individuals who self-harm mostly do so to seek relief from negative feelings and/or to gain a sense of control of their lives when they feel completely out of control. Furthermore, for the individual, self-harm can also be a way to physically see and experience emotional pain or turmoil. Emotional pain can be hard to express or comprehend, so being able to experience that pain in a physical way can provide a sense of relief or comfort.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with self-harm, know that it doesn’t have to remain a daily battle. Treatment for self-harm is readily available and can include time in an inpatient facility, outpatient sessions, meetings with a counselor, or other supports.


Statistics about self-harm

Self-harm is a growing concern in the United States. According to Mental Health America:

  • Upward of 4% of adults in the U.S. self-harm.
  • High school- and college-age individuals are more at risk, with approximately 15-35% of individuals engaging in self-harm.

Cutting one’s skin, or “cutting,” is the most common method of self-harm, used by 70-90% of individuals who self-harm.

Causes & Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for self-harm

The causes and risk factors for self-harm can vary greatly. However, some of the most common include:

  • Having a family member who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, even though self-harm itself is not considered a mental illness
  • Lacking positive coping skills
  • Being in a stressful environment at home or at work
  • Being a female
  • Having poor impulse control
  • Being the victim of abuse or neglect
  • Having low self-esteem

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of self-harm

Symptoms of self-harm are not always easy to recognize. For most individuals, self-harm is done behind closed doors and in private, and the results of self-harm are often covered up. That said, here are some signs and symptoms to look for if you suspect that someone you care about is engaging in self-harm:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Refusing to go to school
  • Taking frequent days off from work
  • Isolating oneself from family and friends
  • Losing interest in activities that they once enjoyed
  • Consistently wearing long pants or long-sleeved shirts, even when it’s hot outside
  • Pulling out one’s own hair
  • When asked about injuries or markings, claiming that they are the result of an accident

Physical symptoms:

  • Broken bones
  • Burn marks on the skin
  • Patches of missing hair
  • Scarring and/or frequent bruising
  • Consistent cuts, scrapes, and scratches
  • Wounds that never seem to heal

Mental symptoms:

  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Losing the ability to control one’s own impulses
  • Periods of emotional detachment
  • Emotional instability
  • Feelings of shame
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of agitation and irritability
  • Growing intensity of anxiety, especially when one is not able to self-harm
  • Feeling depressed


Effects of self-harm

If left untreated, self-harm can affect a person both physically and mentally. Some of the lasting effects of this dangerous mental health concern can include:

  • Physical complications, including severe injuries and infections
  • Organ damage and/or failure
  • Tissue and nerve damage leading to permanent numbness/weakness in parts of the body
  • Scarring
  • Decline in performance in school and/or at work
  • Issues in personal relationships
  • Social withdrawal
  • Developing a substance use issue
  • The onset of additional mental health concerns
  • Accidental suicide

Struggling with self-harm does not need to remain a way of life. There are well-trained counselors and therapists who are ready and willing to help. It’s possible to leave the pain, guilt, and shame of self-harm behind and welcome a new, healthy life.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Common co-occurring disorders among people who struggle with self-harm

If an individual is battling self-harm, they may also be diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder. Some common co-occurring disorders among people who self-harm include:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Marks of Quality Care
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation