Young People Self Harm

Young people and self harm

Talking and reading about self-harm can stir up difficult emotions. Please be aware of how you are feeling before reading the rest of this page. If you feel that you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling then please contact Childline.

Washington Mind’s Young People’s Project believes that Self-harm is essentially a coping mechanism that enables a person to deal with very difficult feelings, painful memories and overwhelming experiences. It is a way of dealing with the associated intense emotional distress. They also recognise that talking and thinking about self-harm can cause anxiety and even fear and for these reasons many people avoid talking about it. However in order to understand self-harming they feel it is necessary to talk about it in a safe way. They feel that it is often unrealistic to expect a young person to ‘just’ stop such behaviors. With the right support your child or a child you care for can find healthier alternative coping strategies. These new methods for coping must be found before the child/young person can move away from the self-harming behaviours. The feel that it is essential to offer young people “an overall message of hope without disguising the pain” (James Withey, founder of The Recovery Letters)

For more information and further support please visit the website.

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