What is Self-Harm?

When someone causes deliberate injury to themselves

Often something which is hidden and done in secret, meaning it can go unnoticed for periods of time

Various methods, including cutting, burning, scratching, hitting, hairpulling, swallowing inedible objects/toxic substances etc.

Why do People Self-Harm?

The reason behind self- harming behaviours can vary from person-to-person – however it is commonly described as a way to:

Gain a sense of control
Stop feeling numb/dissociated
Change emotional pain to physical pain
Express feelings that are hard to put into words
Punish themselves for their feelings/

Supporting Loved Ones

Whether someone tells you directly or you suspect someone is hurting themselves, it can be difficult to know what to say and how to approach the situation.
Remember that the way you react will have an impact on how much they share with you – so here are some things to bear in mind…

Try not to overreact or act shocked- stay as calm as possible

Be empathetic and understanding- avoid telling them that you’recross with them or disappointed!

Have an open and honestconversation with them

Offer or seek out practical medical advice to help keep them safe

Be there for them – offer to helpthem to find support

Don’t try to force change or take control – let them be part of making any decisions

Take care yourself and your own wellbeing too!