It can, however, be related directly to a suicide attempt and can be a risk factor for suicide, so all self-harm needs to be taken seriously.
Even if there is no suicidal intent accompanying the self-harm, the risk of accidental death is very real. Over time young people may harm themselves more seriously or consider suicide, so early intervention is critical.
As a school staff member, it is not essential to know the intentions of a young person engaged in self-harm. The most important thing is that you take appropriate action and support the young person to access a proper risk assessment by a trained healthcare professional.
It is also helpful to understand that there are some groups of young people who are more likely to be at higher risk of self-harm and suicide. The MindMatters Diversity spotlight provides more information about these groups.