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Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Children & Young People Mental Health Support

All about Mental Health


What is self-harm?

Self-harm is when you hurt yourself as a way of coping with difficult or overwhelming feelings, memories or experiences.

There are many forms of self-harm. Some of them include injuring yourself in a physical way such as cutting, burning or scratching your skin. It can also include injuring yourself by hitting yourself or punching walls, poisoning yourself or overdosing. Self-harm can also be less obvious such as putting yourself in risky situations, excessive exercise, over-eating or under-eating.

Self-harm can make you feel better and might enable you to deal with difficult feelings temporarily or for a short while. However, self-harm can also bring up difficult feelings and might make you feel worse. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed of it. You may be worried about other people judging or worrying about you. You may even fear that they ask you to stop self-harming immediately.

These and other worries might mean that you keep your self-harm hidden from anyone. This is a common reaction.

How can I help myself?

If you are thinking of stopping or reducing self-harming you might find it difficult to know where to start. There are some things that you can try to help yourself initially, but you might need to try a few in order to find something that works for you.

  • Keep a diary to record what happens before, during or after self-harm to understand what triggers the urge to self-harm
  • Distract yourself
  • Delay self-harm each time you feel the urge

  have some really useful information that you may find helpful - click their logo or here

These are also some leaflets that you may find helpful:

Centre 33 leaflet:                                                   

 Self harm leaflet 

For parents and carers:               For professionals:  

Coping with SH  Understanding and responding to SH 

Calm Harm is an award-winning app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, using the basic principles of an evidence-based therapy called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).

Calm Harm provides tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm. You can make it private by setting a password, and personalise the app if you so wish. You will be able to track your progress and notice change.

Read more about it to see if it is for you via the NHS website here or click the Calm Harm logo for information about accessing the app. 


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