Today is March 1st – self harm awareness day. We explain what self harm is, along with the causes, signs and treatments here. Self harm numbers are increasing, particularly among young people. It can be accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame making it difficult for people to talk about. It’s important we talk about it and do our best to understand it to help reduce the stigma that surrounds self harm.
If you know someone who self harms
Don’t judge them, or try to pressure them to stop, but encourage them to seek professional support. Be there to listen when you can, however, it is important to remember to take care of your own mental health too. If you have concerns that someone is a danger to themselves, please seek help.
If you self harm
Please seek professional support, and talk to those around you. Self harm is most often used as a coping mechanism for overwhelming feelings. Getting help with those feelings is important so you can deal with the underlying reasons for self harming.
When you’re having urges
If you’re having urges to self harm, distractions can be really useful to pass the time until the urge has subsided. Some distractions you can try are:
- Going for a walk
- Spending time with friends
- Playing computer games (you can try our arcade here)
- Watch a film
- Listen to music
- Play with pets
- Our distraction forum or talking in chat
If you’re not ready to stop, or for times you may slip up when trying to quit
Learn some basic first aid so that you can care for yourself and your injuries correctly. Keep a first aid kit handy to allow you to do so. Please seek proper medical attention where needed.
Slip ups happen
Finally, remember that if you do slip up, it’s just that – a slip up. It doesn’t undo all the hard work you’ve put in. Keep going, you can do this.