Self-harm, or self-injury, is often an under-discussed topic.
"A lot of people who self-harm don't ask for help. You might be aware that you have some serious problems, but don't feel that you can tell anyone – so you don’t talk about it," the Royal College of Psychiatrists advises.
Many people lack the knowledge about how best to speak to or support a friend or family member who self-harms, meaning there are plenty of misconceptions about how and why people hurt themselves.
To help remedy that, and to mark Self-Injury Awareness Day on 1 March, we asked 11 people who self-harm to tell us the one thing they most wanted others in their support network and the wider general public to know:
Contact details for sufferers to get information, advice and support appear at the bottom of this article
Some names have been altered at the request of those who spoke to us, to protect their identity
Useful websites and helplines:
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- LifeSIGNS is a self-injury guidance & support network
- HopeLine runs a confidential advice helpline if you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide. Mon-Fri 10-5pm and 7pm-10pm. Weekends 2pm-5pm on 0800 068 41 41