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Self harm

Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It's usually a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress. The intention is more often to punish themselves, express their distress, or relieve unbearable tension. Sometimes it's a mixture of all three.

If you're self-harming, you should see your GP for help. They can refer you to healthcare professionals at a local community mental health service for further assessment.

There are many different ways people can intentionally harm themselves and people often try to keep self-harm a secret because of shame or fear of discovery.

For example, if they have visible signs, they may cover up and avoid discussing the problem.

If you or someone you know is feeling like self harming, speak to somebody you trust if you feel able to. If this feels more comfortable over the phone or online there are details below for places which we would recommend.

Just remember, this moment will pass.


SelfharmUK is a project dedicated to supporting young people impacted by self-harm, providing a safe space to talk, ask any questions and be honest about what's going on in their lives. It offers important information on staying safe as well as useful articles for parents and professionals.


Childline is a FREE, private and confidential service where children and young people can talk about anything. Whatever their worry, whenever they need help, they're here for them online, on the phone, anytime. Children can chat with a counsellor about anything. It's a 1-2-1 session - so it's just them and Childline. They can give help and support with whatever's worrying your child or young person. This can be done online or over the telephone. Often children can feel happier talking to someone they don't know about their worries, Childline is a safe place for them to do so.

information Leaflets

Understanding Self-Harm aMind FREE download
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