Custard pie anyone? #DoTheDoubtfire goes viral for #ImListening

Our campaign has gone viral in the states – but not in the UK. We nominate you all to #DoTheDoubtire for #ImListening Recreate the famous Doubtfire, like our team, share, tag, nominate and donate if you wish. The best pics might make the paper as they start to cover the campaign and our website will feature the best efforts. Read more here.
#SuicidePrevention #RobinWilliams

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Free suicide prevention workshops to mark Suicide Prevention Day

To mark Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September 2014, Harmless and the Tomorrow Project will be holding 2 free suicide prevention workshops. This will be a chance for you to find out about the work Harmless and the Tomorrow Project do and will provide the opportunity to start discussions around suicide prevention.

The workshop will include:

  • Introduction and the role of self harm and suicide prevention workers
  • Group discussion around awareness and the work Harmless and the Tomorrow Project deliver
  • Services Harmless and the Tomorrow Project offer

Venue

The training shall be held at NCVS, Mansfield Road, Nottingham. NG1 3FB.

Morning session: 10:00am until 11:30am

Midday session: 12:00pm until 1:30pm

For more information, and to book a place, click here or email training@harmless.org.uk

An Evening of Celebration

To mark the 7th birthday of Harmless and a successful 2nd year of the Tomorrow Project, we’ll be holding our annual celebration event on 10th October 2014

Harmless is a community project that helps young people and adults who are in distress and self harm, and those at risk of suicide. Over the past year Harmless has gone from strength to strength. We’ve increased our partnerships and been involved in more research based projects, attended and presented at conferences all over the UK and extended our training programme to raise awareness of self harm and suicide amongst the community and professionals.

Harmless currently receive no statutory funding and despite the clear need for our services we are struggling to meet the demand upon us.

In line with the Suicide Prevention Strategy (2011) The Tomorrow Project have implemented a city and county wide roll out to promote early intervention with those that do, or are at risk of self harming or suicide.

The Tomorrow Project deliver and are involved in varied contact with the community, this includes attending fundraising events, manning stalls, holding workshops and conducting meetings with representatives of the community. We contact those directly and indirectly affected by suicide, provide facilitative support to individuals and organisations with questions and concerns about suicide, deliver workshop style information sessions to improve understanding and awareness of suicide and self harm, and promote help seeking in the community as a whole.

In the past year The Tomorrow Project has been commissioned by Nottingham City CCG to deliver suicide prevention work in educational establishments and to those at risk within Nottingham City.

As with Harmless, the Tomorrow project has no statutory funding and our commissioned work in Nottingham City has limited funding, ending next year.
The celebration evening will mark a milestone in our work and give us the opportunity to raise revenue to keep our vital services afloat. Last year we raised over

If you would like more information about the event, or are interested in attending, please email info@harmless.org.uk

 

Harmless and the Tomorrow Project

 

Representatives of the Harmless and The Tomorrow Project continue to work collaboratively with private, statutory and third sector agencies to promote the reduction of self harm and suicide within the Nottinghamshire area and nationally.

By investing time and building trust we develop key relationships that support positive engagement with our services. We accomplish the breaking down of the barriers of stigma relating to self harm and suicide by creating and maintaining direct relationships with other organisations. We also offer transparency to our work and ethos by inviting organisations to meet with Harmless and Tomorrow Project team to develop increased awareness of the issues relating to self harm and suicide.

Streamlined and targeted interventions, are provide, in the form of bespoke packages, flexibly presenting a spectrum of guidance from emotional health, wellbeing and resilience to more direct training relating to self harm and suicide prevention. By responding flexibly to each organisations’ needs for staff development Harmless and The Tomorrow Project effectively promotes the service and establishes trusting relationships in order To promote the reduction of self harm and suicide within the Nottinghamshire area and nationally.

 

For further information  please refer to the websites:

 

www.harmless.org.uk

www.tomorrowproject.org.uk

 

Email:

info@harmless.org.uk

Self Harm and Young People Training

There are still places left on our self harm and young people training day on

15th September 2014

Date: 15th September 2014

Time: 9:30am-4pm

Venue: Nottingham Community and Voluntary Centre, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FB

What this training day provides?

This training concentrates on self harm from the perspective of young people. Harmless are a specialist service and leading organisation in the field of self harm and have years of experience of working with those aged under 18 years old. This training day gives delegates from a broad range of professional arenas an opportunity to get a detailed overview from the experts about self harm and working with young people who self harm.

This training would be suitable for anyone who works with young people or who may come in to contract with young people who self harm or at risk of self harm.

It will aim to enhance understanding and skills to be able to make a positive difference to the life of someone who is self harming, and looks to ensure that we feel more comfortable and confident about working with people who self harm.

Learning Outcomes

  • What self harm is, and who it effects
  • What causes young people to self harm and some of the myths around self harm
  • What can be done to support and help young people who self harm
  • Managing the impact of self harm as an individual and a workplace
  • Useful interventions for working with young people who self harm and promoting empowerment
  • Managing and assessing risk

For more details or to book a place on the training, click here, or email training@harmless.org.uk

Can you help Listen-Up! with their self harm research?

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.

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

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, call 0115 8467319 or visit the website: www.listen-up.ac.uk

 

In the News – Web companies under pressure to suppress rising tide of self-harm imagery (Includes comments made by Caroline Harroe, Harmless Director)

Social networks and internet companies are facing mounting pressure to prevent a surge in self-harm fuelled by graphic images and even DIY style advice online. Images of bloodied limbs with open wounds and lacerated torsos which would not look out of place in a war zone are readily available in a disturbing trend triggering some young people to self-harm, The Independent can reveal.

Young people who have harmed themselves to cope with mental distress have told how the internet spurred them on. One accused tumblr of being “a feeding-ground for self-harmers who wish to trigger themselves and become indulged in the addiction”.

And it emerged on Monday that a rising number of children as young as 10 are self-harming. New NHS figures  show the number of children aged between 10 and 14 requiring hospital treatment in England after deliberately hurting themselves has risen 70 per cent in the past two years from 3,800 in 2012 to 6,500 in 2013.

Campaigners have called on internet companies to take urgent action. Lucie Russell, a campaigns director at YoungMinds, said: “They definitely should be taking more action and there are things that they should be looking for and they should be closing down.” We also need to build young people’s “emotional strength” so that they can safely navigate the web, she added.

Caroline Harroe, director at Harmless.org.uk, warned: “We have no doubt that exposure to this sort of content, whether on the internet, social networking, amongst peer groups or forums, will increase the likelihood of self-harm growing amongst our young people.”

She added: “Internet companies do not police content about these issues in a responsible manner with the excuse being freedom of speech.”

And Claire Lilley, the NSPCC’s lead on child safety online, said: “It’s vital that anyone providing a social media channel or other website where self-harm content is shared takes steps to protect their users.”

Rachel Welch, a project director at selfharm.co.uk, said: “Certainly anything that is inciting others to hurt themselves needs to be removed, but we need to strike a balance between allowing people to express themselves and gagging them altogether.”

The issue is far from simple. When used as a force for good, the internet can provide vital support to help people stop harming themselves. But for every well meaning website or blog, there are others which glamorise self-inflicted injuries.

Holly Rabey, 18, from Cornwall, told The Independent: “I used tumblr and youtube to gain advice on how to cut deep and how to take apart razors.” She added: “I’d look up images of other peoples self-harm cuts to essentially trigger myself. A quick search of self-harm on tumblr brings about plenty of images of other peoples self harm which can be a trigger, some people post what they use to harm themselves and how they use it. Tumblr is a feeding ground for self harmers who wish to trigger themselves and become indulged in the addiction.”

And Sarah* commented: “Photos are a very bad idea too it makes self-harming a competition you almost want to be the one who cuts the most.” But others, like Michelle*, claim that pictures help “ride out the urge to self harm” as “it helps to see others with the same cuts, burns and scars as I have, even if they’re not people I know. It makes me feel less alone”.

The concerns over exposure to self-harm imagery and content online comes after Anthony Smythe, a former senior policy adviser at the Department for Education, warned that the web is a “lawless jungle that will soon be too dangerous for children to use” in an interview with The Independent to mark a series of articles this week about the role of the internet in the lives of children and young people.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Google, which owns YouTube, said: “Our policies prohibit videos that actively encourage dangerous acts but also try to strike the right balance between enabling people to talk honestly about the issues they have faced.” And a spokesperson for Twitter said: “We don’t have a comment for your story.”

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/web-companies-under-pressure-to-suppress-rising-tide-of-selfharm-imagery-9664887.html

Date: 14th August 2014

Suicide is everyone’s business: make your pledge to do your bit to help at #ImListening

Suicide is everyone’s business: make your pledge to do your bit to help at #Imlistening

Harmless (www.harmless.org.uk) and it’s Tomorrow Project, a self harm and suicide prevention service based in Nottingham, are calling upon everyone, not just professionals, to take responsibility for suicide prevention.

Every year suicide claims over 6000 deaths and is the second biggest killer of young people in the UK. With the recent high profile suicide of actor Robin Williams the world is united in a well overdue discussion about suicide but is just saying ‘that’s so sad’ really a good enough response?

Suicide isn’t someone else’s problem; it’s something that can touch us all. It isn’t just something that effects other people – if a comic genius of our time can lose his battle against the relentless hopelessness that comes with depression, isn’t it time we have an open discussion about our own vulnerabilities and how we can help the battle against suicide?

In those dark times, the simplest of things can make the difference. The difference between life and death can sometimes be as simple as the offering of help from a stranger, a point made salient by Rethink’s Johnny Benjamin, or a friend being on the end of the phone when we need it the most.

Often people who are suicidal feel at their most alone at the time that they make the decision to end their lives. People need people. We each need to be heard and to be comforted; to have someone listen to us without judgment. Having that can make all the difference. It may not fix problems, mend broken hearts or heal depression, nor will it replace the potential need for professional support but it can be enough to get through that moment; from the night and into another tomorrow.

Harmless.org.uk is launching a campaign to unite people in action against suicide. We encourage everyone to do their bit for suicide prevention and believe that if everyone is prepared to listen to someone in need of help, together we can save lives. Harmless and its Tomorrow Project are appealing to everyone to make a pledge to those they know and love, by simply telling them that they’ll listen and care.

So please, share the hashtag #ImListening and if you can, also do the following;

1. Share the #ImListening graphic – you could set the logo as your profile picture and share on social networking sites.

2. Make your pledge by copying the statement: #ImListening, are you?

3. Make a £1 donation to suicide prevention services at: www.harmless.org.uk/store.

Harmless and its Tomorrow Project hope that by getting people to listen, they can help save the life of a loved one. Suicide is final, there is no going back. Suicide leaves behind devastation and affects not only friends and family but wider communities.

More information about this campaign can be found at www.harmless.org.uk or by visiting our social media pages on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

We’re listening, are you?

For information on how to help and what to look out for, go to: For advice on where to get help and how to respond to someone who you think is suicidal, go to http://www.harmless.org.uk/blog/robin-williams-and-the-tragic-sadness-of-suicide-how-you-can-help.html http://www.harmless.org.uk/blog/what-helps-people-stay-alive-the-work-of-harmless.html http://www.harmless.org.uk/blog/the-risk-of-suicide-or-serious-self-harm.html

 

‘Suicide is selfish’ – the things we say. Re-posting in light of the death of Robin Williams

Yesterday I was reading an article about a young gay man. He’d been bullied for his sexuality and then made the irreversible decision to end his life.

Campaigners are using the tragedy to raise awareness about bullying and homophobia. Well I want to raise awareness about suicide, too.

How can we ignore the fact that this young man’s fate was to ultimately die because of abuse and silent suffering?

In the thread of thousands of comments on social networking sites about his death, there were comments of support and compassion. There were also comments like this:

‘Its so selfish to commit suicide’

‘He could have asked for help- just imagine what he’s done to his family. Selfish!’

Comments like this are common, but they make my skin crawl. Suicide isn’t selfish- it’s desperate. When people make that decision to end their lives it is because they have hit a point in their world where it ‘feels’ as though there are no other options.

Often people descend into a place where they truly believe that there would be no impact if they ended their life. Can you imagine how bad you must be feeling to believe that no one would notice if you died?

Selfish doesn’t come into it, because if you truly believe you are better off dead and that no one would miss you, there’s no reason to even consider the impact on others when you are gone.

For others, the pain of living is so intolerable, that they do not feel that they can stay alive in spite of how this may effect others. It’s an unbearable place to be.

To label someone as selfish after their death in such tragic circumstances is the ultimate cruelty; not only had that person suffered in life to the point that they ended their life- they are taunted in death for their decisions.

Yet there is a part of me that is glad of those who can still call someone selfish- their lack of understanding and compassion means that these people have never suffered in the same way. They might think they have, but they haven’t – and for that, despite their ignorance, I am glad. I would not wish that suffering upon anyone!

Suicide is not selfish. It may not consider the impact on others, but that is because suicide is a desperate choice, made by desperate people at a desperate time. We don’t think clearly at these times.

It also doesn’t have to be this way. If we reach someone at these times there is always the possibility of change. If we can influence that desperate state, we can change the outcome.

There is always hope.

Caroline Harroe (Harmless and Tomorrow Project Manager)

Robin Williams and the tragic sadness of suicide; how you can help.

Everyone at Harmless and The Tomorrow Project are really sad to hear of the tragic death of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams.

Many will question the motivation for his ‘apparent’ suicide, with reports saying Williams was suffering a dark depression.

The reality is that if such darkness can strike down one of our comedy legends and turn such laughter into such sorrow, then we are each vulnerable to this. Enabling ourselves to help our loved ones, or feel able to ask for her should it be needed is vital.

The following may help us take the steps to protect or help the ones we love.

If you spot the warning signs of suicide in someone you care about, you may wonder if it’s a good idea to say anything. What if you’re wrong? What if the person gets angry? In such situations, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable or afraid. But anyone who talks about suicide or shows other warning signs needs immediate help—the sooner the better.

Talking to a person about suicide
Talking to a friend or family member about his or her suicidal thoughts and feelings can be extremely difficult for anyone. But if you’re unsure whether someone is suicidal, the best way to find out is to ask. You can’t make a person suicidal by showing that you care. In fact, giving a suicidal person the opportunity to express his or her feelings can provide relief from loneliness and pent-up negative feelings, and may prevent a suicide attempt.

Ways to start a conversation about suicide:

“I have been feeling concerned about you lately.”
“Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.”
“I wanted to check in with you because you haven’t seemed yourself lately.”
Questions you can ask:

“When did you begin feeling like this?”
“Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?”
“How can I best support you right now?”
“Have you thought about getting help?”
What you can say that helps:

“You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.”
“You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.”
“I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.”
“When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold off for just one more day, hour, minute—whatever you can manage.”

When talking to a suicidal person
Do:

Be yourself. Let the person know that you care and he or she is not alone. The right words are often unimportant. If you are concerned, your voice and manner will show it.
Listen. Let the suicidal person unload despair and ventilate anger. No matter how negative the conversation seems, the fact that it exists is a positive sign.
Be sympathetic, non-judgmental, patient, calm, and accepting. Your friend or family member is doing the right thing by talking about his or her feelings.
Offer hope. Reassure the person that help is available and that the suicidal feelings are temporary. Let the person know that his or her life is important to you.
If the person says things like, “I’m so depressed, I can’t go on,” ask the question: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?” You are not putting ideas in in your loved one’s head, you are showing that you are concerned, that you take him or her seriously, and that it’s okay for them to share his or her pain with you.
But don’t:

Argue with the suicidal person. Avoid saying things like: “You have so much to live for,” “Your suicide will hurt your family,” or “Look on the bright side.”
Act shocked, lecture on the value of life, or say that suicide is wrong.
Promise confidentiality. Refuse to be sworn to secrecy; a life is at stake and you may need to speak to a mental health professional in order to keep the suicidal person safe. If you promise to keep your discussions secret, you may have to break your word.
Offer ways to fix his or her problems, or give advice, or make your loved one feel like he or she has to justify his or her suicidal feelings. It is not about how bad the problem is, but how badly it’s hurting your friend or loved one.

Blame yourself. You can’t “fix” someone’s depression. Your loved one’s happiness, or lack thereof, is not your responsibility.