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 What is self-harm?

Self-harm is when someone deliberately injures their body. This could be cutting or burning the skin, punching or hitting, poisoning with tablets or dangerous substances, drug and alcohol misuse, starving and/or over eating.

Why do people self-harm?

People can self-harm for many different reasons, including: bullying, difficulties at school, problems at home, being a victim of abuse, low self-esteem or other emotional difficulties.

Self-harm is a way of coping with emotional distress, however it is only a temporary relief and it won't stop the negative emotions from coming back.

Self harm in friend

If you think your friend might be self-harming, there are ways you can support them. Read this self-harm factsheet for friends.

Help and support

If you're using self-harm as a way to deal with your feelings, it's important that you talk to someone and seek help.

Your doctor , nurse or a teacher will be able to chat to you about ways of dealing with your feelings and offer support. They are there to help and you will not be judged.

There are some useful coping strategies and distraction techniques on the Life Signs website which offers support for anyone affected by self-harm:

Young Minds also have a guide with help and advice for help young people who are self-harming -  'No Harm Done, Things Can Change'

Think you might need some help from a professional?

You can go to your doctor or school nurse for help at any age. Anything you talk about is confidential and will be kept between you and your doctor/nurse, unless you or someone else is at risk.



·         Stress

Support on St Helena:

Ask the school nurse for advice on who can help you.


The school nurse offers a drop-in service for young people to come and chat to about any social, emotional and physical health and wellbeing issues.

The mental health team offer counselling for young people who feel their emotional wellbeing is suffering, whatever the reason may be.

You can go to your nurse / Doctor for help at any age. Anything you talk about is confidential and will be kept between you and your nurse / doctor unless you or someone else is at risk..



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