Self Harm

What is Self Harm?

Self Harm is a term used to describe when you hurt yourself as a way of trying to cope with overwhelming feelings, traumatic experiences or difficult memories.  Although you may feel some sense of relief in the short period of time after you have self harmed, the difficult situation itself has not gone away and this could result in you feeling worse in the long term.

It's often a build-up of many smaller things that leads people to think about self-harm.

There are risks associated with Self Harm, not least that once you have begun to use this as a coping mechanism it can become very difficult to stop.

Taking the time to understand your patterns of self harming can be useful in learning what it is that is causing you to do so.  Identifying your triggers can help with working towards exploring why these triggers are causing you distress.  It can be useful to keep a diary of when you have harmed so that you can begin to identify patterns of your behaviour.

*This list of self-harm triggers is referenced from nhs.uk

How can counselling help?

Talking therapies can be useful to help you explore your triggers in a safe environment and look at alternative coping mechanisms for these.  Reaching out to your support networks can be worthwhile.  Ensuring that you speak with your GP if you are concerned about your self harming or any injuries you have sustained.

If you are a loved one who is concerned about how you can support someone who has self harmed, take the time to listen to them and show that you are supportive.  If they would like further support, offer your help in them finding that support.

Further guidance or support

YoungMinds
0808 802 5544 (Parents Helpline)
Text YM to 85258 (Crisis Messenger for young people)

youngminds.org.uk
Committed to improving the mental health of babies, children and young people, including support for parents and carers
distrACT
nhs.uk/apps-library/distract
App which provides information and advice about self-harm.
Harmless
harmless.org.uk
User-led organisation that supports people who self-harm, and their friends and family
LifeSIGNS
lifesigns.org.uk
User-led self-harm guidance and support network

Alternatively, if you find yourself in a crisis requiring immediate support please consider contacting:

+ Call the 24-hour crisis helpline 0800 783911
+ Call 111 if you urgently need medical advice but it is not a life-threatening situation.
+ Call the Release the Pressure team 0800 1070160 or text “Kent” to 85258 for 24-hour mental health support
+ Call the Samaritans for free on 116 123

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Please feel free to contact me via the contact form or by using the following contact details.

Please note that my phone is switched on from 8am-6pm Monday to Thursday only. Any messages left will be responded to within 48 hours.

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