Helping you get through tough times

Talking about self-harm

This year’s winning entry of Inspire a Generation was ‘Talking about tough times’ by Jack Reardon. It shows an example of the pain and frustration that can lead someone to self-harm.

Two people's feet in runnersWe need to talk about it

It deals with the issue in a sensitive manner, but still conveys the seriousness of self-harming. This is the way we need to discuss it.

Self-harm can be a tough issue to approach, but when it comes down to it, it’s just a human being, trying to find a way to cope with things.

What is it anyway?

Self-harming can be anything from cutting, pulling hair or scratching. It’s anything that is inflicting injury on yourself.

People usually do it in secret, and it doesn’t necessarily mean the person has suicidal thoughts or intentions.

Why do some people self-harm?

Self-harming is often used as a coping mechanism. For the person involved it can:

  • provide a way to express difficult feelings
  • give a feeling of being in control
  • be a way of communicating to others that there’s a problem.

Find something else to do

As with any issue, there’s never going to be one fix for everyone. But, a commonly used method to help with self-harming is to find some other way of dealing with difficult emotions.

What can help:

  • write your feelings down
  • relaxation techniques
  • listen to loud music on your headphones
  • play a video game
  • exercise.

Do talk

It’s the main message in the film – reach out and talk. But, that’s because it really is the best place to start.

It’s not always easy, but confiding in somebody you trust can take some of the burden off your shoulders and make it easier to deal with things. This is also true if you’re worried about a friend who may be struggling.

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