Self harm

Self-harm comes in many forms. It can be over or under-eating, deliberately not taking care of yourself, as well as cutting, biting, burning, or scratching yourself.

Acts of self-harm are usually linked with trying to cope with difficult feelings that come up that you struggle to deal with.

Here is a picture of the cycle of self-harm that people get stuck in over time:

Self-harm cycle of emotional distress leading to self harm













Sometimes there are serious issues that are going on in someone’s life that leads them to self-harm. There can be problems in someone’s home life, bullying at school or other serious issues. If this is the case for you then please find someone that you can trust and talk to them so they can make sure you get the right help. Public health nurses are a good first port of call. Text a public health nurse on 07507 330025 (Mon-Fri).

Usually, self-harm needs to be dealt with by professionals in mental health services since we know that the journey out of this behaviour can take time.

For tips, this website links to a fantastic App you can download to help you: Home - Calm Harm App or check out this helpful website: Self-Harm - Campaign Against Living Miserably (


It’s normal to feel down and sad sometimes, but if these feelings get too deep and you have thoughts about death and not wanting to live anymore then that could be time to reach out for help. You are not alone; many young people feel trapped and think that suicide is the answer.

Having thoughts about death or not being here anymore are common but very distressing. Anyone can feel suicidal, and it can be for lots of different reasons; maybe something bad has happened, perhaps you or someone you love is poorly or dying, you feel lonely, school or college is tough or maybe being alive just feels too hard. 

Suicidal thoughts can come along even if life feels like it is going well in some ways, which can make you feel guilty that other people have it worse.

Whatever is troubling you is valid, because it is making you think about dying; it is important that you try to reach out to talk this through with someone trusted. You deserve to be supported and listened to.

On the spot coping techniques

Feeling suicidal is overwhelming but often thoughts and urges come in waves so here are some things that you can do on the spot to help you soothe yourself through these times:

  • Go for a walk outside if you can and pay attention to your surroundings; visiting a place that makes you feel safe and happy can help.
  • Use the “5,4,3,2,1” technique to regain some focus. Look around you and describe 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 you can hear, 2 you can smell and one you can taste. Focusing on these details can keep you grounded in the “here and now”.
  • Do something that usually makes you feel in control or like you are achieving something, i.e., clean your room, tidy up your stuff, do some gaming, paint your nails.
  • Try making a list of moments from your life that you are proud of and any people that you care about.

For more tips follow this link: Help and advice resources - Papyrus UK | Suicide Prevention Charity (

If you have already taken steps to end your life or if your suicidal thoughts are especially intense and you are worried that you can’t keep yourself safe from suicide, then you need emergency help.

To get emergency help you can visit your local Accident & Emergency (A&E) department or call NHS 111 or 999 and ask for some help.

HOPELINEUK is a charity helpline for young people which is here for you from 9am to midnight, every single day of the year. Call them on 0800 068 4141 text 07860 039967 or email

If you are a parent of a child who may have some issues with self-harm or suicidal thoughts, then here is a link to a really helpful leaflet full of useful advice: Supporting-Your-Child-A-Guide-for-Parents.pdf (

Please visit: Papyrus UK Suicide Prevention | Prevention of Young Suicide ( for more detailed information about suicide and how to get more help.