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- Self-harm -

for young people

Self-harm can bring up difficult emotions
and make people feel worse.

Self-harm is when someone hurts themselves deliberately. There are lots of different forms of self-harming. 


Some people use the same type all the time, and others use a mixture. Self-harming can include:


  • Cutting

  • Over- or under-eating

  • Poisoning

  • Biting

  • Picking or scratching

  • Burning skin

  • Inserting objects into the body

  • Hitting self, or walls

  • Overdosing

  • Exercising excessively

  • Pulling out hair

  • Getting into fights and getting hurt

Some people have described their self-harm as their way to:


  • Deal with difficult feelings, painful memories or overwhelming situations and experiences 

  • Express something they don’t know how to put into words

  • Try and turn invisible feelings into something “more real” and physical pain

  • Give them a false sense of being in control

  • Try and escape traumatic memories

  • Punish themselves for their feelings and experiences 

  • Stop feeling numb or disconnected

  • Create a reason to physically care for themselves

Self-harm can also bring up difficult emotions and make people feel worse. And it’s often something that’s kept secret as many people feel ashamed about it.

Self-harming is always very serious, and if you or someone you can about is hurting themselves, it’s important they get support, as it can be very risky. It’s important that people who self-harm get proper help, so should see their GP.


There’s more information on self-harm on the links below:

- Useful Links -

Why people self-harm and how to tell someone.

How to cope with feelings of self-harm and tips from other young people.

What to do about self-harm.

A mix of expert advice, chats and true stories about self-harm.

- Who to contact -

If you are already accessing one of our services you can see how to contact us by checking your service page here, or talking to us on live chat.


Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people, you can chat via their website between 12pm and 10pm through Monday to Friday or 6pm and 10 pm on Saturday or Sunday

Click the button below to visit their site

The Mix

If you're under 25 you can talk to The Mix for free on the phone, by email or on their webchat.

Freephone 0808 808 4994 (13:00-23:00 daily) or visit their site using the button below


If you're under 19 you can call, email or even chat online with a counsellor about anything.

Freephone 0800 1111 or visit their site using the button below

Crisis Text Line UK

Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK for those experiencing a mental health crisis. Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

Text SHOUT to 85258 

Papyrus UK - HopelineUK

If you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide, contact HopelineUK, open from 10am to 10pm on a weekday and 2pm to 10pm on a weekend.

Freephone 0800 068 41 41 or text 0778 620 9697

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