This is a serious issue facing many young people today. There are many useful websites that are trying to dissolve the myths surrounding the reasons for self-harm such as the idea that it is ‘attention seeking’ or the fear that it will always ‘lead to suicide’.
The charity Young Minds give the following definition of self harm:
"Self-harm is when you hurt yourself on purpose. You usually do it because something else feels wrong. It seems like the only way to let those feelings out."
It is a very common behaviour in young people and affects around one in 12 people, with 10% of 15-16 year olds self-harming. If you self-harm, it is usually as a result of another problem. It can happen if you are feeling anxious, depressed, stressed or bullied and feel you don’t have any other way of dealing with these issues.
Often self-harming brings only temporary relief. It can be upsetting when you think that
self-harm is the only way you can cope, but there are other alternatives that can bring some relief, and it is definitely worth exploring these.
Sometimes it feels like no one understands why you self-harm, but lots more people today
know about what the condition really means.
Self-harm can be anything from regularly digging your nails into your palm, pulling out hair,
picking at an open wound so it will not heal, bruising/hitting yourself, cutting yourself,
taking part in risky behaviour such as drug taking, drinking excessively, etc."
The Young Minds website has lots of useful advice for both Children and Parents and is a good place to start.
The following resources are also very useful:
These videos give a different perspective on self harm. The first gives the child's perspective, and the second, a parent's. Both are worth watching.
Children's perspective: https://youtu.be/kT5cr-HTTEQ
Parent & family perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4cPCcJ6o88&feature=emb_rel_end
Other websites that have advice or can offer support for self-harm are:
If you would like any practical support currently with regards to self-harm, please contact our school nurse on the NHS chat health number: 07480 635513 the line is open from: Mon to Fri, 9am – 4pm.
Alternatively, if you want to speak to someone from the Pastoral Team in school please
make contact via the following email addresses:
Lower School (Years 7 & 8) Pastoral Support Officer: Mrs Kate Bazire-Smith
Middle School (Years 9, 10 & 11) Pastoral Support Officer: Mrs Elizabeth Jacobs
Sixth Form (Years 12-13) Pastoral Support Officer: Mrs Susie Stoneham