In certain London bars I reckon the bare monastic cell look is considered quite cutting edge. By contrast, ADX Florence is beyond cutting edge (unless it's prisoners cutting their wrists in despair). ADX Florence's ambience is an altogether bleaker affair, one which seems designed to crush people and push them right over the edge.
For 20 years I spoke through my skin because I couldn't find the right words. Instead of a best friend to play with, I had a pair of scissors. And instead of a voice, I got stuck on a merry-go-round of bottling things in and bleeding them out. The question I often get asked is 'why'; what could make me feel so low that I would want to drag a blade across my own flesh. Having had nearly two decades to gnaw over an answer, I'm still not really sure, other than - being brutally honest - I think I liked it. It wasn't about the injury I inflicted though, cutting never deviated towards sadomasochism, it was about searching for contentment.
Dear Penny and Jim, I'm writing to thank you for having me on The Breakfast Show on BBC London last Thursday. I don't know if you remember me; you were running a news piece about the tragic death of Tallulah Wilson, a girl who suffered from an eating disorder and subsequently killed herself in late 2012...
There is a sad and recurrent theme in many of the worst child abuse scandals - of a child's voice not having been heard. Poor Daniel Pelka, seen looking through bins for food at his school but whose suffering at the hands of his mother and partner was not discovered until it was tragically too late...
The charities hope that the awareness campaign will get people talking and help to reduce the stigma attached to self-harming which prevents many young people from seeking help. You can follow the campaign on Twitter via #selfharm and find out more about the campaign on each of the charities websites.
In every children's homes placement, there are many human factors to consider. Decisions as to how to meet the needs of the young people require experience, knowledge, training and know-how. Looked after children and children's homes deserve the support of their corporate parents, including you and me, engaging in complex public discussion rather than simplistic sensationalism.
Tumblr is fairly notorious as a platform to go find your images for anything to do with self harm and so called 'thinspiration'. These kinds of resources have been labelled by professionals and campaigners as damaging for many years now and their consequences have been the base of much fierce debate.