What is self-harm?
Self-harm is where someone does something to deliberately hurt themselves when they find things difficult to cope with. It can include things like:
- Overdosing (self-poisoning)
- Hitting (self and others)
- Burning or scalding
- Picking or scratching skin
- Pulling hair
- Ingesting toxic substances (like bleach)
- Eating disorders
Who does it?
There is not one type of person who self-harms. It does not depend on sex, age, religion or background. Both sexes self-harm, but their methods may be different, for example males may engage in behaviours such as fighting. Both adults and young people can self-harm. LGBTQ young people, those who have been abused or witnessed Domestic Violence, have been in care / adopted, identify as emo, been bullied or experienced parental substance misuse are potentially more at risk of self-harm or other mental health concerns.
Why do they do it?
People self-harm for a number of reasons. Something might have happened to make them feel bad about things. This could be stress or anxiety, friendship or relationship difficulties, isolation or loneliness, low self-esteem, questioning sexuality or gender.
But often there is no known cause or trigger.
Speak out and get help
If you are worried about or know anyone self-harming it is very important that you talk to someone about it.
If you are self harming, you are not alone and there IS help available and it is very important for you to get the support you need and deserve. Talking to someone can help how you are feeling, your loved ones and close friends are there to support you, if you don’t feel you can confide in anyone then you can always go and talk confidentially to your GP and get medical help.
A Savvy Kernow approved service will treat you with dignity, respect and confidentially.
More information about getting help / support
Download our leaflet about self-harm written with help from young people in Cornwall.
Getting Help Locally
Kooth - Free online support for young people in Cornwall
Mind Your Way - Mental health and wellbeing services for young people in Cornwall
National Support Websites
The National Self Harm Network - This forum provides crisis support, information and resources, advice, discussions and distractions.
LifeSIGNS - User-led information and support for people who self harm
Epic Friends - How do you know a friend is self harming and what can you do to help them...
Self Injury Support - Supports girls and women affected by self harm
selfharmUK - Online support and information about self harm
Harmless - Support and information for people who self harm
YoungMinds - The voice for young people's mental health and wellbeing
Childline - For more information about self harm
Need someone to talk to?
SHAC - Sexual Health and Contraception
YZUP - Wise up to Drugs and Alcohol
Ask PHIL - support, information and advice on local services
ABC - Anti-bullying in Cornwall
Childline - a free 24 hour counselling service for children and young people
Samaritans - 24 hour confidential emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts
Brook - free and confidential sexual health advice and contraception to young people
Kooth - free online support for young people
Think you know - internet safety and safe surfing for young people
Talk to Frank - friendly, confidential drugs advice