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Having thoughts about self-harm or suicide are common and frightening; here are some resources that you may find useful. Please remember that talking to someone else about your thoughts is always helpful.

What helps to overcome self-harm?

Discovering someone is self-harming can be a shock and can trigger off a range of thoughts such as “how can you do that to yourself”  “oh you’re just attention seeking”  “stop doing that”. There may be a range of emotions such as shock or anger which are understandable. For the person self-harming, whether they have self- disclosed or whether they have been ‘discovered’ it’s likely to be a difficult time. In addition to why and what they have been doing which has often been secret, they now have to contend with someone else knowing. 

Have sympathy for the person self-harming and ask what has lead them to their actions. Feeling listened to and not being judged negatively is hugely important and a big step on the way to resolving the situation. As hard as it may be initially, don’t stop the self-harm actions but try and replace them with actions that allow the person to relieve their distress  in a less harmful way such as: holding ice cubes, punching pillows, screaming, drawing on themselves with red pen. Following that, the next move is to get the person to go for professional help either their GP or talking therapy support. Commonly the way forward is to discuss and resolve the underlying problem that causes the person to self-harm in conjunction with behaviours that allow someone to express any distress but in a way that is not harmful.

Students Against Depression offers comprehensive, award-winning information and resources to help you identify low mood or depression and then find a way forward.

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Harmless is a user led organisation that provides a range of services about self-harm including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self-harm, their friends and families and professionals.

Samaritans – If something’s troubling you, then get in touch. We’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For help in a crisis please click here for contacts.

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