Young people self-harm for a number of reasons: as a way to express painful emotions, as self-punishment, to deal with stress, to try and find a sense of control, to feel something rather than nothing, or to relieve tension. These are just some of the reasons.
Deliberate self-harm is often triggered by a stressful situation, or overwhelming emotions.
The most common triggers are family difficulties, body image, work or school pressure, criticism from others. Whilst self-harm can be a way of coping, there are other ways to cope which are better alternatives, and stopping self-harming is possible with the right help.
There are lots of things that can help you if you are struggling with emotions, and are self-harming – speaking to your GP, talking to a trusted adult, getting physical first aid help if needed, trying out relaxation and mindfulness, downloading useful help apps, and many other things. It is important to think about why you might be self-harming, and try and get some help to talk about those things.
Watch the video below to hear other young people talking about their experience of self-harm in a safe way, and what helped them.
If you would like further help or information, then please follow any of the recommended resources to the right. You are not alone, there are lots of people and services that can help you, and things can get better.
Learn more about Self Harm
YoungMinds help pages about self-harm
Download an app on your phone
Ring Childline for free on 0800 1111 if you are under 18 years old or visit their website:
Or ring Hopeline for free on 0800 068 4141 f you are age 18-35
Text the crisis textline
Text “SHOUT” to 85258
Shout Crisis Text Line offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.
Text anytime, or visit their website here
Talk to a counsellor online
Get free online counselling with Kooth link
If it is an emergency…
Link to crisis help page