Today, March 1, is Self-Harm Awareness Day so let's not shirk away from the issue any longer. A huge number of people self-harm, for a huge number of reasons. Only by opening our minds and our hearts can we explore those reasons and help those who are struggling.
The Mental Health Foundation defines self-harm as "any behaviour where someone causes harm to themselves, usually as a way to help cope with difficult or distressing thoughts and feelings. It most frequently takes the form of cutting, burning or non-lethal overdoses. However, it can also be any behaviour that causes injury — no matter how minor, or high-risk behaviours."
Self-harm is on the rise among the U.K.’s young people. Data published last year by a collaborate study from England Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children revealed that up to one in five 15-year-olds across the country self-harm. During the past decade there has been a threefold increase in the total number of U.K. teenagers who self-harm.
On this day of awareness victims of self-harm are encouraged to open up about their difficult experiences and others are encouraged to provide reassurance by sharing messages of hope and support.
Twitter users have shared a range of experiences and hopeful messages using the hashtag #SelfHarmAwarenessDay and many have used it as a chance to dispel some of the myths surrounding self-harm.
#selfharmawarenessday shoutout to all of you strong people who didn't let the razor get the best of you yet today. Stay strong.— han (@hannahhuempfner) March 1, 2016
You are not alone, and you never will be. #selfharmawarenessday— J. Rose (@JhalenSheffield) March 1, 2016
#selfharmawarenessday MYTH: Self harm is just attention seeking behaviour. FACT: In most cases people go to great lengths to hide injuries.— Nicole (@LithChronicles) March 1, 2016
With the right help and support, most people who self-harm can and do fully recover. The Mental Health Foundation has a definitive guide to self-harm, which explains what to do if you or someone you know is self-harming and how to get help. Download it for free here.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised this article you can call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.
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