Created by Support Plus, 2017 Self harm

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1 Created by Support Plus, 2017 Self harm Thinking about self harm can be upsetting. You might want to look at this leaflet with someone you trust like a healthcare worker

2 Self harm Contents Page What is self harm? Page 3 and 4 Why do people self harm? Page 5 and 6 What can help me to stay safe? Page 7 What if I still feel like hurting myself? Page 8, 9, 10 and 11 Why do people want to stop? Page 12 What can help me cope with my feelings? Page 13 and 14 Where to find more Information Page 15 2

3 What is self harm? Self harm is hurting yourself because of painful or difficult feelings Self harm is often used to try to cope with difficult feelings Everyone has accidents sometimes that is not self harm Self harm is injuries someone does on purpose Self harm is anything that you do to hurt or harm yourself on purpose This can include unhealthy eating and using alcohol or drugs 3

4 What is self harm? It can be helpful not to focus too much on what someone is doing to harm themselves Sometimes it is more important to focus on how someone is feeling Well known ways to self harm are cutting, burning or pinching yourself But there are many ways to hurt or harm yourself 4

5 Why do people self harm? People hurt themselves for different reasons Here are some of them Difficult and upsetting things have happened It can be difficult to tell other people how you feel Some people hurt themselves to let other people know that they are feeling bad To try to stop or block out difficult thoughts and feelings 5

6 Why do people self harm? People hurt themselves for different reasons Here are some of them Some people self harm because they feel they need to punish themselves Some people self harm when feeling angry, worried, upset or down All self harm can be dangerous You should talk to someone if you feel like hurting yourself in any way 6

7 What can help me to stay safe? Here are some things you can do to stay safe Try not to drink alcohol or take drugs Stay away from things you might use to hurt yourself Talk to your healthcare worker or doctor as soon as you can They can help you to stay safe Spend some time with family or friends. Some people learn to let others know how they are feeling using words or signs instead of hurting themselves. This can be very difficult and can take time 7

8 What if I still feel like hurting myself? Sometimes the feeling to hurt yourself is too strong. It does not go away even when you try to do other things There are things you can do so you do not harm yourself so much These can be 1. Tell yourself to wait a little before hurting yourself. Start by waiting 15 minutes. Over time, make the waiting time longer 2. Do not share self harming tools with anyone else. You don t know what illnesses the other person has 3. Do not self harm on areas where you have lots of scars. Scars are not as strong as your skin 8

9 What if I still feel like hurting myself? There are things you can do so you do not harm yourself so much These can be 4. Keep a first aid kit close and know how to it 5. Think of things that do not break your skin, like flicking an elastic band at your wrist. 6. Don t take pills or drink alcohol 7. Distract yourself by doing something else for a short time 9

10 What if I still feel like hurting myself? There are many ways you can distract yourself when you feel like you are going to self harm When you feel Angry or frustrated You can try Exercise Hitting a cushion Shouting Dancing Biting on cloth material Tearing up some paper Sad or scared Wrapping yourself in a blanket Spending time with animals Taking a walk Letting yourself cry Listening to music Telling someone how you feel Massaging your hands Breathing slowly and deeply 10

11 What if I still feel like hurting myself? When you feel Like you need control Like you cannot feel anything You can try Making lists Tidying up Writing or drawing how you feel. You can then decide what to do with the writing or drawing Tightening and then relaxing your muscles Flicking elastic bands on your wrist Holding something cold Smelling something with a strong smell like coffee Having a very cold shower Like you want to punish yourself Writing or drawing how you feel Exercising like running or boxing 11

12 Why do people want to stop? People stop hurting themselves for different reasons It hurts It damages your body Lots of visits to hospital can be stressful for you and your family Cuts or burns that get infected are painful Self harm gets in the way of everyday life Hurting yourself does not make the painful feelings go away forever 12

13 What can help me cope with my feelings? Keep a diary about your feelings This might help you see what makes you hurt yourself and why You may want to show someone you trust or keep this private Some people find it helpful to make a list of reasons why you want to hurt yourself and a list of reasons to stop You could ask for support from a healthcare worker to do this 13

14 What can help me cope with my feelings? Speak to a healthcare worker about how to find ways to help yourself There are organisations who understand self harm that can help you National self harm network forums Harmless There are lots of ways people can learn to cope with and show difficult and painful feelings 14

15 Where to find more information The organisations below offer support and advice for people who self-harm as well as their friends and families Harmless Website National Self Harm Network forums This is an online support forum available everyday, all day and all night Website Mind Cymru Information and support if you have a mental health need Phone Or text Website 15

16 Where to find more information Samaritans You can talk to them anytime about how you feel Freephone Website Your GP If you have questions about self harm or want to know more you can speak to your Support Plus website An easy read website with information on Mental Health This leaflet was created by Aneurin Bevan and the Support Plus Team Authors Support Plus Team Date Created March 2017 Thank you to Photosymbols for the use of images For updates on Facebook HealthBoard Follow us on Use this QR code to access the Support Plus website 16

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