Self-harm & Suicide Prevention
Why do young people self-harm?
A young person may self harm because they:
- Are feeling sad, worried or angry
- Are not feeling very good about themselves
- Are being hurt by others, physically, sexually or emotionally
- Are feeling under a lot of pressure at home or school
- Want to fit in with a group of friends
- Have lost someone close to them
How can you cope with self-harm and overwhelming feelings?
Replacing the self-harm with other, safer, coping strategies can be a positive and more helpful way of dealing with difficult things in your life. Helpful strategies can include:
- Finding someone to talk to about your feelings
- Talking to someone on the phone, perhaps via a helpline
- Writing and drawing about your feelings if it's difficult to talk about your feelings
- Scribbling on and/or ripping up paper
- Flicking an elastic band on your wrists, or arms or legs
- Listening to music
- Doing some exercise
- Getting out of the house and going somewhere where there are other people
- Keeping a diary
- Having a bath/using relaxing oils
- Hitting a pillow or other soft object
- Watching a favourite film
If you are worried about a friend see below for information on how you can help.
If you are feeling so down that you are thinking of ending your life, know that you are not alone in feeling like this. If you are thinking about suicide it can be a very lonely and confusing time but it is important to remember that however bad you feel there is help available to you.
If you talk to someone about feeling suicidal you will be able to get the help you need to address the issues that are making you feel that way and reduce the risk of suicide.
There are a number of local and national organisations that can help which are all listed in the 'Resources' section below. The most important thing is to talk to someone about how you are feeling.
If you're worried about a friend
You can really help by just being there, listening and giving support:
- Be open and honest. If you're worried about your friends safety you should tell an adult. Let your friend know that you're going to do this and you're doing it because you care about them
- Encourage your friend to get help. You can go with your friend or tell someone that he or she wants to know about it
- Get information from telephone helplines, websites, a library, etc. This can help you to understand what your friend is experiencing
- Allowing them to talk about how they feel is probably the most important thing you can do for them. Just feeling that someone is listening and that they're being heard can really help. Good listening is a skill. Always let the person finish what they're saying and, while they're talking, try not to be thinking of the next thing you're going to say.
- Self-harm: Information and Advice for Young People;
- Self-harm: Information and Advice, My friend has a problem how can I help?
Local sources of information
- BeeU Access - 0-25 Mental Health Service 0300 124 0093 - www.beeu.org.uk
- Kooth - Free, anonymous online counselling through your phone, tablet, laptop or PC. Anyone aged 11-25, living in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, can register to access this service. No referral is needed - www.kooth.com
- Children's Society- Drop-in service, BEAM, is now available from The Children's Society (no referral required) - AskBeam@childrenssociety.org.uk
- MIND Info Line - 0845 766 0163 / 01743 3686647
- GP or NHS direct 111
- Shropshire Youth Association - http://www.sya.org.uk/
National Advice and Help Lines
- Childline - 24hrs helpline for children and young people under 18 providing confidential counselling. Tel: 0800 1111 www.childline.org.uk
- PAPYRUS - Offers a helpline to give support, practical advice and information to anyone who is concerned that a young person may be suicidal. HOPELineUK: 0800 068 4141 www.papyrus-uk.org
- Self-injury support - Supports women and girls in emotional distress, especially those who self-harm, or their friends or relatives.
Limited opening hours. TESS text number for support - 0780 047 2908 TESS email
- National Self-harm Network - Support for people who self-harm, provides free information pack to service users. www.nshn.co.uk
- Samaritans - Confidential emotional support for anybody who is in crisis. Tel: 08457 90 90 90 www.samaritans.org.uk
- Young Minds - Information on a range of subjects relevant to young people. www.youngminds.org.uk
- The Mix - http://www.themix.org.uk/
- NSPCC - www.nspcc.org.uk