Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 10/09/2020

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 Rio Vista 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 Rio Vista 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.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services 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

Signs & Symptoms of Self-Harm

Understanding the signs, symptoms, and effects of self-harm is an important part of the effort to get help for yourself or your loved one. At Rio Vista Behavioral Health in El Paso, Texas, we’re proud to be a source of information and comprehensive care for adolescents and adults who have been struggling with self-harm.

Understanding Self-Harm

Learn about self-harm

Self-harm refers to the intentional infliction of pain or damage upon yourself. This behavior is also sometimes referred to as self-injury, self-mutilation, self-abuse, or non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI).  

Self-harm can take many forms. Common examples of self-harming behaviors include pinching, cutting, or burning your skin; pulling out your hair; hitting your head on a wall or other hard surface; intentionally breaking or trying to break your bones; or drinking caustic liquids.  

Although the behaviors listed in this section can be dangerous, and in some cases even unintentionally fatal, it is important to note that self-harm is not a form of attempted suicide. However, studies have indicated that people who engage in self-harm for an extended period of time may have an increased risk for suicide. 

Some people intentionally injure themselves in response to overwhelming stress or pressure. Others do so as a means of punishing themselves for perceived shortcomings or failures, or in a misguided attempt to exert control in what feels like an out-of-control world. Still others may engage in self-harm as a means of giving physical presence to emotional or psychological pain. 

Self-harm is often, but not always, a symptom of a mental health disorder. Some people who engage in this behavior do so because they are suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, or other forms of mental illness. However, others who engage in self-harm do not meet the clinical criteria for a mental health diagnosis.  

Regardless of what causes a person to engage in self-harm, this is a clearly dangerous behavior that may require professional care. The good news is that, with the right help, adolescents and adults can regain control of their thoughts and actions and overcome the urge to harm themselves.


Statistics about self-harm

The American Psychological Association (APA) has reported the following statistics about self-harming behaviors among adolescents and adults in the United States: 

  • The rate of self-harm among adolescents is about 17%. 
  • About 15% of college students have engaged in self-harm at least once during their college years. 
  • Among adults, the rate of self-harm is about 5%. 
  • Experts estimate that 35%-50% of self-harm cases involve males. 
  • About 47% of bisexual females have engaged in self-harm.
Causes & Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for self-harm

No single cause or set of circumstances is present in every case of self-harm. The likelihood that a person will engage in self-harm may be influenced by a variety of internal and external factors, including the following: 

  • Gender (most studies indicate that self-harm is more common among girls and women than among boys and men) 
  • Family history of mental illness 
  • Personal struggles with certain mental health disorders 
  • Substance abuse and addiction 
  • Personal history of trauma 
  • Childhood adversity 
  • Experiencing overwhelming amounts of stress or pressure 
  • Low self-esteem or poor self-image 
Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of self-harm   

Self-harm can take many forms and may be accompanied by a variety of associated thought patterns, actions, and physical effects. With the exception of the self-harm itself, there is no other symptom that is present among all who struggle with this behavior.  

However, the following are among the more common signs and symptoms that may indicate that a person is experiencing the compulsion to engage in self-harm: 

Behavioral symptoms: 

  • Wearing long sleeves and long pants, even in hot weather (in an attempt to hide evidence of self-injury) 
  • Withdrawing from family and friends 
  • Spending significant amounts of time alone 
  • Lying or being secretive regarding whereabouts and activities 
  • Ending participation in hobbies or pursuits that were previously of great importance 
  • Acting with uncharacteristic recklessness 

Physical symptoms: 

  • Abnormal sleep patterns (including either insomnia or hypersomnia) 
  • Significant change in appetite 
  • Dramatically increased or decreased energy levels 

Mental symptoms: 

  • Problems with focus or concentration 
  • Dramatic mood swings 
  • Pervasive sense of shame or guilt 
  • Unexplained outbursts of anger or irritability 
  • Diminished sense of self-esteem or self-worth

Effects of self-harm

A person who needs but does not get effective care for self-harm may be at risk for a variety of negative effects. These outcomes may result from the self-harming behaviors themselves, as well as from the disorders, symptoms, or emotions that led to the problem in the first place:  

  • Strained or ruined relationships with family, friends, peers, or colleagues 
  • Substandard performance in school  
  • Job loss, unemployment, and resultant financial problems 
  • Physical injuries due to self-harming behaviors 
  • Social withdrawal and isolation 
  • Onset or worsening of other symptoms of mental illness 
  • Poor self-esteem 
  • Loss of self-confidence 
  • Overwhelming sense of hopelessness 
  • Suicidal ideation 
  • Suicide attempts 

Please note that the effects listed above can be avoided. When you get professional help to overcome the compulsion to harm yourself, you significantly lower your risk for these outcomes. While you are receiving care, you can also begin to heal from any damage that you have already experienced. With the right type and level of assistance, you can learn how to respond to stresses, pressures, and other triggers in a healthier manner, without succumbing to the urge to harm yourself.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Common co-occurring disorders among people who engage in self-harm 

As noted earlier on this page, not everyone who engages in self-harm is suffering from a mental health disorder. However, this behavior is often a symptom of a mental or behavioral health concern. Adolescents and adults who have been engaging in self-harm may be at increased risk for the following: 

  • Eating disorders 
  • Schizophrenia 
  • Borderline personality disorder 
  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Depressive disorders 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • Substance abuse and addiction 

Introducing Rio Vista Behavioral Health

Rio Vista Behavioral Health offers state-of-the-art inpatient psychiatric and detox services in the El Paso, Texas, area. Our commitment is to provide men, women, and children in our community with individualized treatment planning and ongoing recovery support.