Charities Mental health

Self-harm Awareness

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Warning: this post mentions self-harm and you may find it triggering.

Did you know that Sunday, 1st March 2015 was Self-harm Awareness Day? I am sure that most of you didn’t. Self-harm still feels like a very taboo subject to talk about.

I’ve always been open in this blog. I have written posts about my history of long-term depression, miscarriages and even my suicide attempts. But somehow talking about my personal experiences of self-harm seems more difficult. Even now, as I write this I wonder what you are all thinking.

I used to self-harm. It started in my early 20s and then continued on a weekly and sometimes bi-weekly basis until I was 24. It is not something I am proud of. And now I am older I struggle to understand why I had such a compulsion to cause myself pain.

There are many reasons why I self-harmed and there are many reasons young people self-harm. I was fortunate enough to receive help from people who understood how I felt. They didn’t judge and they helped me see that I had other options. Gradually I lost the desire to hurt myself when I was upset.

Self-harm Awareness Day

Self-harm

Self-harm amongst young people is becoming more and more common. In 2012/2013, the helpline ChildLine saw a 41 per cent increase in calls about self-harm.

According to a UK poll commissioned by a consortium of leading UK youth charities alarming numbers of 11-21 year olds are getting access to images online showing someone self-harming. With many of these children and young people saying  that the images make them ‘feel like hurting themselves’ too.

These statistics scare me.

I know I do not have control over Little Miss H’s life. I can not control what happens to her or how she feels. But I would like to think that I can protect her from seeing images of people self-harming. I know that I can keep her safe from these images by following some simple advice. I can add parental controls to our computers. And I can simply sit down with my daughter and talk to her about the online world and how there is information out there that I don’t want her to have access to.

If you would like to know more about how to keep your child safe online then the NSPCC website has some fantastic advice and guidelines. The site also has some very helpful information on how to spot the signs of a child self-harming and what you can do to help.

If you are worried that a child you know is self-harming and you are concerned about their safety then you can contact the NSPCC’s 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 5000 or you can email help@nspcc.org.uk.

If you are under 18 and would like advice or support on the issue of self-harm then please contact ChildLine on 0800 1111. ChildLine is a free 24 hour helpline manned by trained volunteer counsellors who will be able to help.

Hugs

Mrs H

xxxx

PS The UK youth charities ChildLine, Youthnet, SelfharmUK and YoungMinds are running a week-long online awareness campaign to mark Self-Harm Awareness day. This campaign aims to increase awareness of this issue and show that there is support available for children and young people who are self-harming.

Disclaimer: This post is written in support of  Self-harm Awareness Day but all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

28 Comments

  • Reply
    Misunderstood Mummy
    March 19, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    You are so brave writing about this, I feel for you so much. It must have been tough feeling that way. Those statistics are absolutely shocking, and I think you are doing such an amazing thing by writing this, because I am sure it will help people. Xxxx
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 20, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      Awwwww, thank you for your lovely comment. It seems like a very long time ago now. But it was very tough. I hate the idea of any child or young person going through he same experiences. I really hope that my post has helped someone. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Mim
    March 10, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    What a wonderfully inspiring post – thank you so much for sharing your own personal experience of this – it was honest and brave. You’ve clearly come so far and learned so many things about yourself so well done for having the courage to share that with others – it’s very inspiring 🙂 🙂 You’re a #SundayStar 🙂 A’hem, #SundayStars
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 11, 2015 at 6:47 am

      Hello. Thank you so much for your really lovely comment. I have never thought of myself as especially inspiring. I just want to be able to help anyone who is feeling as I did when I was younger. I want them to know that there is support and they do not have to struggle with their overbearing feelings on their own. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Jess Soothill
    March 8, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    You are so brave and inspiring, as many people will be reading this in a similar position and this will help them to find support and help. It must be so scary to feel this way. I would hate to think that my children couldn’t talk to me about their feelings. I hope that this reaches out to many people and that your words can help others. Jess xxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 8, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      Thanks for your lovely and kind comment honey. Thankfully, I haven’t had those feelings for a very long time. I hate the idea of Little Miss H feeling this way too. But as parents, I think it is important that we accept that our children could feel this way. I definitely think that talking to our children and being open and honest with them is a step in the right direction. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 6, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    What a brave and important post. So sorry to hear you’ve had experience with self harm, and relieved for you that those feelings have gone away. How inspiring that ultimately you have done something so positive as a result of what you have been through to try and raise awareness of this important issue. Xx
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 8, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Thank you for your gorgeous comment. I thought it was a hugely important post to write and I just hope that it can help a few people. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Julia @ Rainbeaubelle
    March 6, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Oh Lucy, I feel for you reading this and it is such a brave thing to talk about it, hopefully someone will read this who is worried about self harm and it will help them. Lots of love xx
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 6, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Thank you for your lovely words. You are too kind. I hope that this post is able to help someone who is thinking of self-harming. I would be so happy if that were the case. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    martyn
    March 4, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Such an important post for parents and younger people to read. Although the message is incredibly difficult for some it it shows your strength and what can come from it years on. That being said it must have been difficult to write still so well done!
    I use to self harm. And like you it isn’t something I am proud of. And sadly it was only 2.5 years ago! Worryingly something that continued into my 30s. That being said it’s not an action now and that’s the main thing. But it is scary to think that my children could go through it to. This post will help parents in this situation and you gave knowledge that there is some help. Once again well done lovely lady a great post for all.
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 4, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      Oh Martyn. Your comments are always so lovely. They make me tearful. I wish I could give you a hug. Self-harming is a very hard thing to give up. It becomes a compulsion. And even if it is only 2.5 years ago then that is an amazing 2.5 years ago. Remember at one time, it was only a day, or a week or a month ago. You are stronger than you think. Take care and thank you for your kind comment. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Sarah christie
    March 3, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Ah Mrs H I felt so sad for you reading this, I am so glad you are so much stronger now, It is something I have seen throughout my career and always saddens me, I am lucky to be in the position to be able to access help if I feel someone is suffering x
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 4, 2015 at 10:06 pm

      Sarah, lovely. I am so pleased that if you see someone is suffering that you know where to go for help. But i am saddened that you have come across it during your career. I think more children and young people self-harm now because they can get access to images online and read all about it. They learn about it and they are influenced by what they learn. Hopefully my post will help anyone suffering to find the support that they need. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Katie LifeonVistaStreet Haydock
    March 3, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    You are completely right. This is something that should be spoken about more and the statistics are ABSOLUTELY scary.
    I have a friend that is clearly a self harmer and has been for the (nearly) 15 years that I have known her… but it’s not something that we ever discuss – she doesn’t say anything and I don’t ask.
    I really don’t know why. Maybe I don’t want to upset her or make matters worse?
    Brilliant post Mrs H x
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 4, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      Thank you for your lovely words, Katie. I am so sorry to hear about your friend. It is a very hard subject to address. I don’t know how I would bring it up if I knew one of my friends was harming themselves. I wish you and her lots of strength in the situation and I hope she eventually feels that she can talk to you about it. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Maria Noell
    March 3, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    You are such a brave lady and I am so happy that your life has changed and you no longer feel the need to hurt yourself. Your honesty could save people. Thank you so much for sharing all of the info. It definitely gives me something to think about. Knowledge is power- for us as parents and for anybody needing advice to help them.

    Huge squeezes

    x Maria x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. You are too kind. I completely agree that as a parent, knowledge is power. We can’t bury our head in the sand. We have to face that with the digital age our children have access to images and websites that we would prefer they never come across. It is good to know how we can get support about this. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    katy (what katy said)
    March 3, 2015 at 7:11 am

    You are so brave sharing your own experience, doing so will help so many know they aren’t alone. So glad you don’t feel this way anymore, you are so lovely I hate to ever think of you feeling down. xxx
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 3, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Awwww, lovely lady. Thank you for your comment. I don’t feel brave sharing my experience. I just hope that this post helps children and young people who may feel like harming themselves. I hope that they know that they are not alone. That there is help and support out there and that they won’t always feel this way. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Hayley @hayleyfromhome
    March 3, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Oh Lucy, I think you are so very brave to write about your experiences and to let people see there is hope, I’m so glad you came through it stronger. It must have been such s difficult time for you. It is a worry for all us parents as our children grow up so it is good to be aware of the support out there xx
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 3, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment Hayley. It was a difficult time. But it feels like a lifetime ago. I am a very different person from the one I was then. I wrote this post because i wanted anyone going through a similar situation to know that there is hope. That they can feel better but they will probably need help to get there. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Heledd
    March 3, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Oh lovely Lucy it breaks me to think of you in these situations. I’m so glad you managed to find the help and strength you needed to beat this compulsion. This is such a brave, honest and important post. It could literally change a person’s life. Hugs back from another Mrs H xx
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 3, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Ahhhh Mrs H. You are so kind. I promise that I am much better now. These experiences were a long time ago. But now I am a mum it does scare me that Little Miss H can be influenced by images online. I want to help parents know where they can get advice on how to protect children online. I also want children and young people who self-harm to know that they are not alone and they can get help. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    March 2, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Oh huni, I just want to give you a huge hug. I am so glad you no longer feel the desire to do this. I find this side of the internet truly chilling and petrifying. I too worry about this sort of thing for Baby.

    Lots of love you beautiful lady xxxx
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 3, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      I think this side of the internet is truly horrible. And as a parent, it feels totally out of our control. Hopefully, my post will help parents know that there are some actions that they can take to protect their children. I also wanted to share so that young people and children who self-harm or feel that they wish to harm themselves don’t feel so alone. I want them to know that they can get support and that there is hope. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Katie
    March 2, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    I’m so sorry you went through this and am very grateful you found the help you needed. It is a scary statistic about how many calls childline get in relation to self harm. With older children I am painfully aware how hard it can be to monitor everything they see and to make them aware of the world around them. Thank you for sharing this information with us xxx
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    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 4, 2015 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment honey. It is a very scary statistic. But hopefully the more parents know that there children can get help then the less young people will feel they need to self-harm. I also think that it is important that parents know how to control how to protect their children online. It worries me when I think of Little Miss H getting access to images of people self-harming. I want to protect her from all of this if I can. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

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