Self Harm Awareness Day is on the 1st of March each year, when organisations like ours come together in a united voice to try and create change.
Self harm is something that people do when they are simply overwhelmed by their emotions. Very rarely shared with others, self harm is an expression of distress. It is not attention seeking but something that people do when they don’t know what else to do, like screaming or shouting, slamming a door, or throwing something across a room.
Two of us set up Harmless in 2007 because we KNEW that our work was needed and vital. I had self harmed. I had faced stigma and discrimination, sometimes even cruelty. I had also, after a long time, found the kindness and support that I needed to turn things around.
There were times in my life that I had no hope at all. I began to realise, in my recovery, that hope was the vital lifeline that keeps us all on the planet, living our lives. Without it, we give up. Harmless was born out of a drive to bring that hope to others and to do that in a manner that also equips individuals with the skills that they need to live long and happier lives.
A recent client of Harmless’ said:
“Before I was seeing my counsellor, I used to harm myself a lot. It used to help me cope with stress and other things. It made me feel better when I hurt myself. I even had suicidal thoughts and thought I was going crazy.
“I can now deal with things a lot more easily. We talked about mood, thoughts and behaviour.”
This individual also experienced the complete despair that many people that self harm do, but they also managed to turn things around, they just needed a little help.
Today Harmless is a reputable service. It has grown in stature and reputation. But we still have a long way to go. Many of our services are not funded, even though the need is still growing. The people that contact us are very often, more often than is acceptable, facing lack of help and understanding. They face stigma and people making judgments about them.
What can you do today to support self harm awareness? Could you share this post? Have a conversation with someone? Reach out to someone that you know is struggling, or point someone in our direction if they think they need us and we can help?
Or if you would like to help us keep delivering services, could you make a donation? If you would like to follow this link and if you would like to set up a fundraising project, we welcome every penny – have a look here for information.