Have you emailed Harmless for self harm support but not received a response? There may be a good reason…


We have become aware of people contacting us but thinking they’re not getting a response. There may be a good reason! Please read on. . .

We will try to get back to everyone who contacts us, and have systems in place to ensure that happens in the vast majority of cases.

The most likely occurrence is that our email reply has been sent to your junk folder (and not your inbox). We ask everyone to please check and add us as a safe sender. This is particularly true of those using outlook or hotmail.

It is important to remember our email support ends in .org.uk and not .co.uk or .com.

Did you get an auto response message when submitting a message online? If not, there is a good chance it didn’t send correctly. Also, our email support system sends an auto reply. If you did not get one, something may have gone wrong and we kindly ask you to try again or look in your jump or spam folder.

If you don’t provide an email address, we may be unable to respond to your message. This is because our email support is only set up to respond to those people who provide a working email account. We will be able to make contact using a phone number, but this will cause a delay in getting back to you.

When you send an email message, we usually need more information before we can support you further. This is because we have to keep you safe, and ensure you get the right help. If you do not get back to us with the information requested, we may be unable to support you fully until we do.

We take confidentiality seriously and are unable to confirm or deny if someone has contacted us unless they have given consent for us to do so. This is true of anyone aged 11 or over. That could mean you are under the impression we have not responded, however, it is possible that we have done but we have to maintain a level of confidentiality.

Sometimes we have responded but the time isn’t right for that person. They may chose to not opt in to services, or not engage with us. That is fine, and we are here when you need us and when you are ready. As mentioned above, Harmless will not confirm or deny if that person has or hasn’t responded unless we have consent. If a loved one has said we have not made contact, it could be they are not ready to engage. Remember, seeking support is often a difficult and daunting experience. This is especially true for those who may have been let down by services elsewhere. We would encourage family members and friends to support them during this distressing time, and seek help themselves in the meantime. We have a friends and family leaflet available if you need it. Also, we hold a monthly drop in service which often helps overcome barriers and challenges of accessing support.

Harmless aim to respond to emails within 5 working days, however, this may increase during busy periods. Please bear with us.

We do not get funding for our email support service. This is paid for by Harmless’ own generated income such as donations and training sales. That means we sometimes have to prioritise our funded face to face services during peak times. This can lead to a delay, but this is rare.

We are here to support you for as long as you need, but Harmless and The Tomorrow Project do not have the resources to provide immediate responses. If you need urgent help, we encourage you to contact one of the services below:

  • Samaritans on 116 123 (Listening support available 24/7, for all ages)
  • SaneLine 0300 304 7000 (Out of hours support service for those aged 16 and over, available 4.30pm until 10.30pm)
  • If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, you can text SHOUT to 85258. (The service is available to all ages, available 24/7)
  • Childline at www.childline.org.uk (Phone, webchat, or email service for those aged 18 years old and under, available 24/7)
  • Hope Line on 0800 068 41 41 (For young people under the age of 35, open 10am – 10pm weekdays; 2pm – 10pm weekends; 2pm – 10pm bank holidays)
  • The Mix at www.themix.org.uk/ (Phone, webchat, or email service for those aged under 25 years old, opening times vary)
  • If you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do, please contact NHS 111 (Available to all ages, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

Finally, on the very rare occasion your email has been overlooked, please contact us by emailing info@harmless.org.uk directly. Your email is important to us, and we are here to support you. We know that people who reach out to us are often in distress, and we are here for you as best we can. Remember, life can get better with the right help.

For and on behalf of The Harmless Team

FREE Nottinghamshire mental health and suicide intervention training

Here are the latest dates for FREE Nottinghamshire mental health and suicide intervention training.

Delegates can book a place, and find more information via this link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/harmless-lets-talk-training-14795237737

Booking Information

 Individuals can only book on one course, so are encouraged to book on to the most appropriate module. If organisations would like to book more than one place (e.g. for a colleague), then please contact us directly on (0115) 880 0281.

Module One (Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Training): For members of the community, or a volunteers who are involved in a community scheme or activity about mental health or suicide prevention for adults (18+).

Module Two (Mental Health and Suicide Awareness Training): For third sector frontline staff working with Adults (18+) with low level mental health support needs, those with undiagnosed mental health conditions, or those with low mood or worry. 

Module Three (Mental Health Intervention Training): For third sector frontline staff working with Adults (18+) with medium level mental health support needs and/or who may have one or more coexisting conditions.

Module Four (Suicide Intervention Training): For third sector frontline staff working with Adults (18+) vulnerable to suicide risk

Please note: Modules have been tailored around those who you support. Front line workers are kindly asked to choose the module that best describes your client group, and not your personal knowledge or training experience level.

If you have any queries over eligibility or which course is right for you, please contact the Harmless Let’s Talk Training Team.

Training office: (0115) 880 0281

Email: training@harmless.org.uk


Have you got your #lifesaving raffle tickets?

Tickets are £1 each and all the money raised goes directly towards helping us provide a range of services about self harm including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self harm, their friends and families and professionals.
The draw will take place during the Harmless Celebration Event on October 5th 2019 and all winners will be notified within two weeks of the draw taking place.
Click the link here to purchase your tickets: http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/Raffle-2019
Tickets for the event are available via this link: http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=91

Terms and conditions of raffle available on request

 You must be 16 or over to buy a raffle ticket.

Have you got your #lifesaving raffle tickets?

Tickets are £1 each and all the money raised goes directly towards helping us provide a range of services about self harm including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self harm, their friends and families and professionals.
The draw will take place during the Harmless Celebration Event on October 5th 2019 and all winners will be notified within two weeks of the draw taking place.
Click the link here to purchase your tickets: http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/Raffle-2019
Tickets for the event are available via this link: http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=91

Terms and conditions of raffle available on request

 You must be 16 or over to buy a raffle ticket.

11 Unexpected Ways You Hold Emotional Pain In Your Body

If you’re mourning the loss of a loved one or you’re struggling to figure out whether to end things with your partner, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about the way your pain is affecting your mind. You might be distracted at work or feel suddenly sad while shopping for groceries. But you might be surprised to learn that emotional pain can manifest physically too in a variety of surprising symptoms.

While you may be able to deal with digestive problems or skin issues with external treatments, to really address what’s causing these physical symptoms, you have to cope with your emotional pain. “First and foremost, reach out for help and support,” Kristin Wilson, MA, LPC, a licensed clinician and vice president of clinical outreach for Newport Academy, tells Bustle. Try spending more time with trusted loved ones, joining a support group with others who can relate to your experience, and working with a mental health professional to uncover and address root causes, she says.

Whether you’ve recently noticed a ringing in your ears or have been feeling sick to your stomach for no explainable reason, here are some surprising ways that your emotional state may be affecting your body.

1. Change In Body Temperature

If you’re feeling extra warm even if your environment is cool, your emotional state may be to blame, Jovica Grey, a licensed mental health counselor and the founder of Grey’s Counseling Services, LLC, tells Bustle. When you are experiencing emotional pain, that turmoil could manifest in feeling extremely hot for no physical reason, she says. In addition to drinking a cool drink or placing a cold washcloth on your forehead, it’s also a good idea to confront whatever is making your upset.

2. Hair Shedding Or Breakage

When you’re going through an especially rough time, you might notice more hair on your pillow or in your shower drain than usual, LaQuista Erinna, LCSW, owner of owner of THRIVE Behavioral Health & Consulting, LLC, tells Bustle. Hair loss could be due to a number of different health problems, so she says to visit your primary care doctor for an evaluation to rule out any underlying medical conditions before tracing the issue back to emotional stressors.

3. Digestive Problems

Aaron Amat/Shutterstock

“Emotions are physical feelings in the body caused by enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters in the brain and body,” Dr. Kim Peirano, DACM, LAc, doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, tells Bustle. “When we don’t express our feelings or try to hide or block them this can result in a backlog of these chemical components in the body,” she says. Suppressing your emotions like this can lead to digestive issues, reflux, and bloating. In addition to giving yourself permission to express your emotional pain, try incorporating digestion-soothing foods like turmeric tea and bananas into your day.

4. Tinnitus

Ashley Batz for Bustle

Tinnitus, a sense of noise or ringing in your ears, is one unusual physical symptom you might notice as a result of emotional pain, Rev. Connie L. Habash, LMFT– a licensed marriage and family therapist, yoga teacher, and interfaith minister, tells Bustle. In her experience with clients, pausing and “listening” to the ringing, with openness and interest in what some deeper part of themselves may be trying to express, can be a powerful way to deal with the issue, she says. As you become aware of feelings that were completely unconscious to you before, you could gain a new perspective on your life by allowing repressed emotions, beliefs, attitudes, and needs to rise to the surface.

5. Unexplained Aches And Pains

If part of your body has been aching for a while and no medications seem to bring you relief, the root cause may be emotional instead of strictly physical, clinical psychologist Dr. Mehwish Mursaleen, tells Bustle. Visit your doctor to make sure that there aren’t any physical reasons that you should be in pain, she says. If any test comes back normal, look into visiting with a psychologist or psychiatrist to learn more about somatic pain.

6. Skin Problems

“The brain and the nervous system influence the skin’s immune cells through various chemical messengers and receptors which respond to stress,” Dr. Keira Barr, a dual board-certified dermatologist, tells Bustle. Stress and anxiety can manifest physically in a host of ways, such as acne, hair loss, psoriasis, hives, rosacea, and even profuse sweating, she says. In addition to addressing your skin problems through soothing masks or topical treatments, make sure to set aside some time to balance your mind through meditation or reflection.

7. Physical Tics

If you’ve been experiencing motor tics like sudden shudders of the jaw or a full-body shudder like a dog getting up from a nap, you could have a physical manifestation of emotional pain, Morgan Balavage, a yoga instructor who specializes in working with clients with chronic pain, tells Bustle. To treat both the physical and the emotional symptoms, try yin yoga, she says. “It is an accessible (as in, all bodies can do it) but advanced (as in, for your mind) practice, and can be a beautiful physical release of emotional pain.”

8. Nausea And Dizziness

“People don’t realize that emotional pain can cause other non-specific symptoms that are tough to diagnose and are usually associated with a lot of different conditions,” Dr. Judy Ho, PhD a triple board-certified clinical, forensic, and neuropsychologist, and author of Stop Self Sabotage, tells Bustle. Nausea and dizziness are two of these non-specific symptoms that could be due to emotional pain, but could also be due to a health problem. “Try to dig deeper and figure out if there is a negative emotion you have been avoiding dealing with,” she says. Try relaxation strategies such as deep breathing, listening to music you love, or smelling a favorite scent.

9. ConstipatioN

If you’re experiencing emotional distress due to a specific event, experience, or person, being faced with that trigger can cause constipation, Parveen Brar, a psychological consultant and certified mental health first aid trainer, tells Bustle. To help calm your mind, try leaning on daily habits such as meditation, journaling, and exercise in addition to talk therapy, she says.

10. Sleep Problems

You might not be surprised to learn that emotional pain can contribute to insomnia, but it can also cause hypersomnia (an inability to stay awake), Dr. Dana Dorfman, PhD, psychotherapist and co-host of the podcast 2 Moms on the Couch, tells Bustle. To help ease your mind and regulate your sleep patterns, turn to creative outlets like dance, writing, or pottery, she says, as each of these activities offers an opportunity to express yourself.

11. Tingly Tops Of Arms And Hands

A tingling sensation on the tops of your arms and hands can be a direct experience of the fight or flight response, Christina Beck, psychology researcher and head of community development for Supportiv, tells Bustle. “Your muscles are involuntarily tensing to fight, and the change in blood flow causes a tingly sensation,” she says. To address this physical sign, let your body know that it isn’t in danger by flexing and relaxing your arms. You can also try running your hands under warm water to relax your muscles, Beck says.

Whether you’re hurting from an achy shoulder that just won’t seem to heal or you’re noticing more hair falling out than usual, take a moment to connect with how you’re doing emotionally. By recognizing any emotional issues you may be struggling with, you may be able to better address any physical problems.


The artist hiding ‘little bottles of happiness’

North East artist Lottivicsart leaves little bottles containing miniature watercolours and positive messages for people to find.

She says it is her attempt “to spread happiness”.


Be a life saver!

Did you know that you can easily give a monthly donation to our suicide prevention work?
Many people want to support our work but aren’t sure how to. Why not sign up to a small monthly donation and we will use the money to help people who need support and can’t get any elsewhere.
£5 a month would fund help to two crisis sessions across the year
£10 a month means 5 people would get help that wouldn’t have without your support
It doesn’t cost much to save a life- can you help us?
You can set up a monthly donation via this link here: https://localgiving.org/donation/harmless/monthly

Have you got your #lifesaving raffle tickets?

Tickets are £1 each and all the money raised goes directly towards helping us provide a range of services about self harm including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self harm, their friends and families and professionals.

The draw will take place during the Harmless Celebration Event on October 5th 2019 and all winners will be notified within two weeks of the draw taking place.

Click the link here to purchase your tickets: http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/Raffle-2019

Tickets for the event are available via this link: http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=91

Terms and conditions of raffle available on request

 You must be 16 or over to buy a raffle ticket.

Petting a dog or cat can relieve stress in just 10 minutes, new study shows

Researchers at Washington State University have found that petting a dog or cat can relieve stress in just 10 minutes — and it’s another brilliant reason to adopt one of your own.

Scientists wanted to see if anxiety levels would decrease in highly-stressed university students after spending time around pet animals. They asked 249 students to take part in the experiment and then divided them into four different groups.

The first group took part in a hands-on interaction with dogs and cats for 10 minutes, while the second group watched and waited their turn. The third group watched a slideshow of the same animals available during the intervention, while the fourth group were “waitlisted.”


The following morning, the scientists collected salivary cortisol samples from each of the participants and found that the students who interacted directly with the pets showed significantly less cortisol (a stress hormone) in their saliva after petting the animals.

“Just 10 minutes can have a significant impact. Students in our study that interacted with cats and dogs had a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone,” Patricia Pendry, an associate professor in WSU’s Department of Human Development explained in the study.

Hand of man stroking tabby cat

Also in the study, researchers found that many universities are now offering students “Pet Your Stress Away” programmes, where they can spend time enjoying the company of dogs and cats to alleviate their stress. As well as improving students’ moods, pets can help them to feel more at ease during exam season.


How to Have Difficult Conversations When You Don’t Like Conflict

Avoiding or delaying a difficult conversation can hurt your relationships and create other negative outcomes. It may not feel natural at first, especially if you dread discord, but you can learn to dive into these tough talks by reframing your thoughts.

Begin from a place of curiosity and respect, and stop worrying about being liked. Conflict avoiders are often worried about their likability. While it’s natural to want to be liked, that’s not always the most important thing. Lean into the conversation with an open attitude and a genuine desire to learn. Start from a place of curiosity and respect — for both yourself and the other person. Genuine respect and vulnerability typically produce more of the same: mutual respect and shared vulnerability. Even when the subject matter is difficult, conversations can remain mutually supportive. Respect the other person’s point of view, and expect them to respect yours.

Focus on what you’re hearing, not what you’re saying. People who shy away from conflict often spend a huge amount of time mentally rewording their thoughts. Although it might feel like useful preparation, ruminating over what to say can hijack your mind for the entire workday and sometimes even late into the night. And tough conversations rarely go as planned anyway. So take the pressure off yourself. You don’t actually need to talk that much during a difficult conversation. Instead, focus on listening, reflecting, and observing. For example, if a team member has missed another deadline, approach them by asking neutral, supportive questions: “I see the project is behind schedule. Tell me about the challenges you’re facing.” Then listen. Pause. Be interested and proactive. Gather as much detail as possible. Ask follow-up questions without blame.

Your genuine attention and neutrality encourage people to elaborate. For every statement the other person makes, mirror back what they’ve said, to validate that you understand them correctly.

Be direct. Address uncomfortable situations head-on by getting right to the point. Have a frank, respectful discussion where both parties speak frankly about the details of an issue. Talking with people honestly and with respect creates mutually rewarding relationships, even when conversations are difficult.

There are situations, however, where cultural or personality differences should be considered. If your culture is conflict avoidant or doesn’t value directness, you can still engage in challenging conversations. In these cases, shift your approach from overly direct to a respectful, affirming back-and-forth conversation. For instance, if the person you are talking with seems to not be picking up on what you are saying, ask them to repeat their understanding of what you’ve shared. As they reflect back what they’ve heard, you can adjust your message to make sure the conflict is moving toward resolution. This communication style is open and less threatening. 

Don’t put it off. How often is your response to conflict something like, “I don’t want to talk about it” or “It’s not that big a deal” or “It’s not worth arguing about”? If you’re always promising yourself that you’ll “bring it up next time it happens,” well, now’s the time. Instead of putting off a conversation for some ideal future time, when it can be more easily dealt with, tackle it right away. Get your cards on the table so you can resolve the issue and move on.

It might seem risky to come right out and say something, but often that’s just what is needed. Give yourself or your counterpart a little bit of time to cool down, if necessary, and plan the general outline of what you want to convey and the outcome you desire. But then have the conversation, and make a plan to move on. After all the mental gymnastics of endlessly practicing conversations in your head, actually engaging in a two-way conversation can be inspiring, respectful, and productive.

Expect a positive outcome. You’ll struggle to follow this advice if you continue to go into a conflict telling yourself, “This is going to be a disaster.” Instead, tell yourself, “This will result in an improved relationship.”

Focus on the long-term gains that the conversation will create for the relationship. When your attention is focused on positive outcomes and benefits, it will shift your thinking process and inner dialogue to a more constructive place. As a result, you will grow more comfortable approaching the coworker who constantly criticizes and complains, or the subordinate who keeps underperforming.

Don’t ignore the tough situations you are aware of today. When the opportunity presents itself to provide unsolicited negative feedback to a difficult colleague or give a less-than-positive performance evaluation, summon the courage to address the conflict head-on.