What is it like for a parent accessing support from Harmless?

Last week, we posted a blog from the perspective of a service user who wrote about their experiences of accessing face-to-face therapy at Harmless.

Today, we focus on our self harm drop-in as a parent shares their thoughts about  how it has helped them as an individual and a family.

‘I went to the drop in to get advice and help for my daughter. She had been self harming for a year without my knowledge. When I found out it was so distressing for me, for all of us as a family, and I wanted to know everything, straight away, without even being able to consider what that caused for her, I was in panic. Going to the drop in I got advice, Adrienne helped me to step back, to give my daughter time and space to allow her to share her experience, or not in some cases, in her time, and not feeling pressured to tell me all.

I am now seeing a therapist at Harmless and this has been tremendously supportive. My daughter now feels more supported and is currently thinking about starting counselling herself. Without that first step we would all be in the same place, having not progressed any. If you are thinking about it, try the drop-in first, the staff there will answer your questions and help you to make a decision best suited to you and your families needs.’

The next drop-in is on 2nd July (Adults – Over 18’s) and 6th August (Young People – under 21’s). For more information, please refer to our website or call 01159 348 445 (Admin Line only).

What helps people stay alive?: the work of Harmless

Harmless is a service thriving in the field of self harm and suicide prevention work. We talk often and openly about our provision of services, the events that we are attending- our academic work and research. Perhaps we should also find more time to talk about the bread and butter of our work and what it is that truly makes our work effective. This means talking about heart and soul and above all, hope. Yes, we are ‘innovating’ interventions; yes, we are evidencing our work- but the question really should be ‘what helps people to stay alive?’.

People turn to harming themselves or contemplating death over the ‘big’ things in their life. We often take these ‘big’ things to mean big events or traumas, but more essentially, these are big emotional experiences- feelings of devastation- loss, sadness, shame, fear…. No matter what their origin.

Harmless is a service that truly understands and relates to self harm and suicide. It embraces staff who have lived experiences of these issues – perhaps we don’t write about this enough. So it’s important, that, despite the clear academic rationale for our work, we embed these experiences in our work- that we always prioritise the human touch in the services that we provide.

So… What is it that helps people to stay alive and to overcome both suicide and self harm? It can be the little things. Or an accumulation of little things. It can be an act of kindness that can tip the balance in the favour of life, or a positive experience that can reduce the amount of harm someone causes themselves. It can be a thousand tiny experiences that encourage a sense of hope, or belongingness. These might not ‘fix’ the problems that someone is facing but it can be enough to help someone to keep fighting.

What years of research does tell us is that isolation and hopelessness are really crucial in people self harming, and going on to become suicidal… But we knew that anyway, right?

If each of us offer the small things, just think what a difference we could be making to someone in pain. And that’s what Harmless does. That’s why we make a difference- not just because we offer an intervention, but that we offer it at a time of need, with compassion and sincerity- that we care enough to do it and to be there when we are needed and that we are real people with real stories, doing that work.

There is always hope for people in distress. Every life touched is the potential for a life saved. So we will keep on doing what we do, and learning from it. We will keep talking to the people we help and let them, each and every one, tell us what helps them.

And we will keep believing, until people can believe for themselves again, that their life is worth living and there is hope… And that no matter how bad things feel, they can be helped.

East Midlands Self-harm, Suicide Prevention & Post-vention Conference

On Friday members of the Harmless and Tomorrow Project team will be attending the East Midlands Self-harm, Suicide Prevention & Post-vention Conference at Nottingham University.

The conference will be a chance to explore on-going clinical experiences and research, within the East Midlands, around the areas of self harm, suicide prevention and bereavement by suicide.

Our team will host stalls for both Harmless and the Tomorrow Project and deliver information about the self harm and suicide prevention work that we do. It will be a chance to discuss, explore and network with other industry professionals in order to advance working in self harm, suicide prevention and post-vention.

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/education/documents/suicide-conference/conferencejune2014.pdf

Can you help us with our research on self harm in young people?

Harmless are working with the Universities of Nottingham and Leicester to increase our understanding of self-harm in young people.

It is really important for us to understand more about self-harm and help in the future development of services for young people who self-harm.

Listen Up are looking to hear from young people who have experienced foster or residential care and young people who have never been in care.

We are looking for young people aged 11-21 who have self-harmed in the last 6 months to take part in our research.

There are two studies you could take part in – one involves being interviewed by about your experiences of self-harm. The other study involves taking part in two computer-based interviews over 6 months. You will privately answer questions about self-harm and other issues.

We can cover your travel expenses – meet you in a place of your choosing and we can offer a £15 high-street voucher (per study) as a thank you for your time.

To take part please contact us at listenup@nottingham.ac.uk or call 0115 8467319.

Harmless self harm drop-in update

Over the recent weeks we have been contacted several times with requests for the young person’s drop in to be moved to a time that is post school closure. We are happy to confirm that we’ve taken your comments on board and they will now begin at the slightly later time of 3.00pm starting from August 6th 2014.

If you feel there is anything that may assist with the drop in service please do not hesitate to contact us with your ideas – we’d love to hear from you.

This service is for anyone who would like support for either themselves or others. Our trained therapists will be on hand to offer information or advice about any concerns you may have or if anybody would like more information about the work and services that Harmless offers. Two drop in services will be available on a bi-monthly basis for young people aged 11-21 and adults 18+.

Our drop in service are open to anyone, whether you are someone affected by self harm or suicide, a friend, family member, carer or professional

Location: All drop in services will take place at the Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service building, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FB

If you would like further information please email info@harmless.org.uk

Our next adult drop in for individuals aged 18+ will be held on Wednesday 2nd July 2014. This will be at the usual time of 2.30pm until 3.30pm.

Self Harm Drop In for Young People

Harmless are holding a drop in for young people aged 11-21 this Wednesday (4th June)

The drop in will take place at the NCVS from 2:30-3:30pm.

Our drop ins are open to anyone, whether you are someone affected by self harm or suicide, a friend, family member, carer or professional.f you are aged 11-21, and would like support for yourself,  a friend or family member then feel free to come alone. Our trained therapists will be on hand to offer information or advice about any concerns you may have about self harm.

Location: All drop ins will take place at the Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service building, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FB

If you would like further information please email info@harmless.org.uk
Our next adult drop in for individuals aged 18+ will be held on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.