Quick links

Our top tips!

  • Don’t suffer in silence
    If you are feeling that you want to harm yourself, it is really important that you reach out to somebody that you can trust. Let them know how you are feeling; don’t suffer in silence. 
  • Remember that how you feel changes
    Emotions are not fixed and change all the time. If you are feeling low, or feeling that you want to harm yourself, these feelings won’t last forever. 
  • Avoid being alone
    If you are feeling like this, try and avoid being on your own where you can. Go and spend some time with family, friends or someone that you can trust. 
  • Try to identify the triggers
    If you can, try and identify particular things that might trigger your feelings. If you can identify them, you can start to understand why you may be feeling this way.

What is self-harm?

Self-harm is the act of purposefully hurting yourself. People sometimes feel urges to hurt themselves and then act on those feelings. Some examples of the ways that people harm themselves include:

  • Hitting
  • Burning
  • Cutting

Some people have urges to harm themselves, but do not act on it. It is still important if you are feeling these urges to reach out and get support.

Some people think differently about self-harm. Some people are more open about it and want to talk about their self-harm, while others are more private and might get embarrassed if their harm is exposed. It’s important to remember that people cope in different ways. 

Is self-harm serious?

People who feel urges to harm themselves experience them in different ways. No matter how you are experiencing these urges, it is really important to understand that it is serious.

People who experience these urges often try to harm themselves. They may think that it is the only way for them to escape the pain they are experiencing. 

However low you are feeling, harming yourself is not the answer. There are many ways that you can get help and feel better without needing to cause any more pain to yourself, or your loved ones.

The impact of harming yourself or intentionally trying to end your life extends beyond you. There are people that care and want to help.

Coping with thoughts of self-harm

Avoid drugs or alcohol

Alcohol and drugs may make your feelings worse. If you are experiencing thoughts that make you want to harm yourself, it is best to avoid any form of drug or alcohol.

Distract yourself

If you are feeling the urge to harm yourself, find things that you can use to distract yourself. It could be reading a book, spending time with friends, listening to your favourite music or watching your a movie.

Get some exercise

When you’re feeling low, it is important to keep active. If possible, try to get exercise somewhere outside in the fresh air to help you clear your mind and feel a bit better. Sometimes, just a walk outside is enough!

Find alternatives

When you are feeling the urge to harm yourself, it may be a good idea to have a bank of alternative activities or coping mechanisms available – maybe even write them down. 

What should I do if I know someone who is self-harming?

You may be reading this page because you know somebody who is experiencing urges to harm themselves or is harming themselves.

The first thing for you to know is that it is okay for you to not understand how they are feeling. Most people who have never experienced these urges may find it difficult to understand, but this doesn’t mean you can’t support them.

Here are some important tips to help you out:

  • Be patient and understanding: People experiencing these urges sometimes need time to come to terms with how they are feeling.
  • Hear them out: People respond differently to these urges. Some will want to talk more about it and others less. Be there to listen if they want to talk about it.
  • Avoid the subject: Unless they bring it up, avoid talking about these urges. They may be enjoying the distraction of talking about something different. Don’t point out scars or evidence if you see them. A lot of people will feel embarrassed.

I think I might need some help... what do I do?

If you have been reading this page and are worried because you are feeling that you want to harm yourself, it is really important that you reach out to somebody.

There are so many different options that you can think about, and all of them will be able to help you some way. Do not suffer in silence, reach out to someone now to start getting the help that you need.

If you feel like you want to harm yourself, talk to somebody immediately to make sure you are able to get the help you need.

Get support!
If you think you are suffering, reach out to somebody and get the support you need.
Speak to us

You don’t need to suffer in silence. If you think that you might be suffering with any mental health condition and you would like to talk to someone, our friendly mentors will always be on hand to talk with you.

Speak to somebody you trust

It is really important that somebody close to you, who you can trust, knows about how you are feeling so that they can be there for you when you need them.

Speak to a doctor

Self-harm may be caused by a mental health condition and doctors can help. If you are feeling low and are starting to get worried, reach out to a doctor as soon as you can so that they can help you out. 

Self-harm and depression

Urges to self-harm can be caused by many different things. Some people experience these urges briefly, and this may be caused by something specific. For example, the loss of a loved one or a particularly traumatic event.

Some people experience these urges for longer periods, and may not be able to work out what the reason for feeling that way is. A lot of people experiencing these thoughts may be suffering from a mental health condition.

Depression is a mental health condition that causes people to feel low for long periods of time. Some people who are experiencing more serious levels of depression may feel lower than others. Sometimes, feeling low leads to having feelings of wanting to cause themselves some kind of harm.

If you are feel urges to self-harm, you should speak to someone you trust as soon as possible to get the support you need.