1 What is self-harm?
Self-harm is when somebody does something to damage or injure their own body. It is usually a way for someone to cope with or express difficult feelings. It can also be a cry for help.
There are many ways a person can self-harm, these include:
- taking overdoses of medicines
- hair pulling
- scratching skin
- punching or hitting themselves
- inhaling or sniffing harmful substances.
It can be difficult to tell if someone is self-harming however there is lots of advice and support available.
Watch Stuart talk about his personal experiences of self-harm and the support and advice he received that helped his recovery.
2 Where to get help
If you're worried about your or someone else's self-harm, help is available. Talk to your GP who may refer you on to another healthcare professional, or talk to a friend, family member or teacher.
Other sources of help and support include:
3 Self-harm Out (shOUT)
Self-Harm Out (shOUT) is a group that aims to signpost young people to resources and support, and challenge the way that self-harm is portrayed in the media.
They have created resources of where to get help if you or someone you know self-harms.
They have also introduced the Crisis Card which you can use to ask for support if:
- you are unsure who to turn to or how to start a conversation on self-harm
- you are feeling scared by what you are doing or thinking
- you are concerned about a friend who might be self-harming
- you need to know how to get appropriate treatment.
These cards are available at FindItOut Centres, Worthing and Crawley College.
If you are a professional
If you are given a Crisis Card by a young person:
- they may be about to ask for help for themselves or a friend
- this could be the young persons first attempt at asking for help
- they may be concerned about breaking confidentiality or a promise to a friend.