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Self Harm


Self-harm is when you choose to cause pain on yourself in some way. Problems can build up to a point where you feel that you are struggling to cope. Young people often self-harming feels like a release and begin to use it as a coping mechanism to deal with their worries.

Self-harm can be through:

  • cutting

  • burning

  • pinching

  • biting

  • scratching yourself, and

  • pulling your hair out

Self-harm can also be through:

  • overdosing

  • making yourself sick or ill

  • abusing alcohol or drugs


When does it happen?

You may self-harm because you feel anxious, depressed or stressed and feel you can’t turn to friends/family for support or help. There are lots of other reasons young people self-harm, these are sometimes called ‘triggers’.

  • bullying

  • changes at home

  • stress at school

  • problems with friends

  • feeling lonely

  • bereavement

  • struggles with food

  • confidence issues

  • abuse (verbal, physical or sexual)


What can I do?

When you feel anxious or upset, do something you enjoy or try to think about other things can be a way to help you stop hurting yourself. If you can hang on in there, and resist the urge to self-harm for just 30 seconds to begin with, you can start to break the habit.

You could try:

  • Phoning a friend

  • Listening to music, drawing or reading

  • Writing down your feelings in a diary

  • Breathing slowly, in through the nose and out through the mouth

  • Going for a walk or a run, dancing, exercising or playing sport

  • Focusing on objects around you and thinking about what they look, sound, smell, taste and feel like.


If you still want to hurt yourself

  • Putting your hands into a bowl of ice cubes for a short time or rubbing ice on the part of your body you feel like injuring

  • Using a red pen or lipstick to mark your body instead of cutting

  • Finding a safe punching bag like some pillows

  • Putting a rubber band around your wrist and flicking it

  • Have a cold shower

  • Sticking plasters on the parts of your body you want to injure.


Where to get help?

Speaking to a trusted person about how you are feeling; this could be family, friend, doctor, school nurse, teacher or counsellor. They will be able to support you with speaking to a specialist about self- harming.

CAMHS are here to support you, try contacting  or by visiting Young Minds for more information.

If you are experiencing the impact of self-harm it may be helpful to discuss this with a specialist, your GP or perhaps our school counsellor.  Please speak to Mrs Allen, your Head of Year or your Form Tutor to make a referral to the Counsellor.

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