Harmless and The Tomorrow Project Christmas Closure

The Harmless and Tomorrow Project team are taking some well deserved time off over Christmas as we prepare for what will be a busy 2016!

Services will close on Thursday 17th December and will return to normal on Monday 4th January 2016.

The team would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us over this past year – your kindest and generosity has literally helped us save lives. We are confident that next year will bring many more achievements as we continue to have significant and  positive influence in the field of self harm and suicide.

2016 will see us launch our first national self harm conference ‘From Harm to Hope’ on March 1st (Self Harm Awareness Day) and introduce some new national services.

On behalf of the team, we wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.

If you need immediate support over the next couple of weeks, please call Hope Line on 0800 068 41 41  or the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90

Harmless Adult Self Harm Drop-in Today

Harmless would like to invite you to attend our Monthly Adult Drop In Support Group meeting today, Wednesday 16th December at 15.30 – 16.30. 

Our sessions are friendly and welcoming. We create a relaxed atmosphere with approachable staff who provide important information explaining how our service can support you, your friends and family or a colleague. We can offer information or advice about any concerns you may have about self harm.

You will have the opportunity to meet Val our experienced and qualified therapist and Colin, our experienced and friendly Project Worker.

All drop in sessions will take place at the Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service Building, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FB (Opposite House of Fraser)

If you have trouble finding us please call on 0115 9348445 or email us at info@harmless.org.uk

‘Losing someone to suicide’ my first experience

When I was in my twenties, I had a range of difficult experiences that brought me into contact with mental health services; something I often talk about in my own way.

Rarely do I talk of the people who I met along that journey, or ever, of one particular friend who, in 2011 ended her life. Suicide was her last chapter.

The friend, who I will call Jenny, played a huge part in my life, especially when I was at my lowest. She understood the dark place that I found myself, and self harm. When I couldn’t sleep, she was on the end of the phone and vice versa. We spent countless hours together, passing the time together, each in our own depressions.

Jenny was bright and kind, but also deeply troubled. She had seen ugliness in the world and felt changed by it. For a couple of years, Jenny and I travelled side by side, our perspectives similar.

Our lives began to diverge when I started to lift myself from that difficult place. I made a range of different choices and took different steps towards regaining control over my life; I somehow managed to find a foothold on my life where Jenny didn’t. I managed to find the right help and above all, a little hope. I wasn’t able to give that to her- she couldn’t see it or feel it at that time, nor did she find it in the years that followed.

I kept going, and we saw less and less of each other. Self harm had become her life, depression her way of being and mental health services were now her ‘family’; these are difficult places to travel from in a world that envelopes you. If we’re not careful, it becomes you. It simultaneously tells you that it will take responsibility for you when you are unable and that you should learn to cope alone. It comforts you, whilst blaming you and when you’re isolated and alone, with all it’s faults and inconsistencies, it is still there.

The last time I heard from Jenny was in November, 2011, shortly before her suicide. She had contacted me to wish me congratulations on the birth of my son. Our lives, now completely incomparable- (me, a therapist, recovered and with a family of my own and Jenny still struggling with her own existence) still shared that common history and care for each other. I learned later that my own successes cast a shadow upon her even more and this causes me huge pain.

On Boxing Day, that year, I took the call that i had always dreaded- she had taken her life. I sat amongst family, celebrating Christmas and felt utter devastation. I tried to conceal the torment.

I had to walk a different path from Jenny in order to live the life that I have now. I wish she had walked with me.

She didn’t.

I will always be full of sorrow and regret over that.

At harmless and the tomorrow project I provide a range of services that aim to reach people at risk of suicide. I only wish Jenny had been able to get some of that help- it came too late for her.

Losing someone, whoever that is, to suicide, is devastating. My head still plays tricks on me; I think I’ve seen her in the supermarket, or forget that she’s gone. I still have her last text on my phone. I think about how she died and it haunts me.

At least I get to try and change the outcome for others- our service reaches people that self harm, we find people that are thinking about suicide, and we help them to turn things around.

And that’s some comfort.

I don’t ever want to take another call like that but every day someone else has to. And for every year that passes there are countless people, laid awake at night, just as I am, wondering ‘what if…’

Harmless Self Harm Drop in Tomorrow

Harmless provide two drop in sessions per month, one for adults and a separate one your young people.

Our next Adult drop in session will be:

Wednesday  16th December  at 3:30pm–  4.30pm for Adults aged 18 years and over.

Our trained therapist will be on hand to offer information or advice about any concerns you may have about self harm.

If you have any concerns about someone such as a family member, friend or a colleague, then please feel free to join us, you will be assured of a friendly welcome.

All drop in sessions will take place at the Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service Building, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FB (Opposite House of Fraser)

If you have trouble finding us please call on 0115 9348445, or email us at info@harmless.org.uk.

Could you run to raise funds for SUICIDE PREVENTION?

The Fleet Half Marathon takes place each year and the event in 2016 is being held on Sunday March 20th at 10.30.

I wondered whether you, your family or friends would like to join us either as runners or supporters….. as the more people we have… the more we raise awareness and funds for our work!! There will be about 150 runners running. Lunch will be provided and there are normally around 250 people in a marquee, kindly provided by Carters of Basingstoke.

Entries for the Fleet Half tend to close around Christmas and so we have about two weeks left!

The entry page is here: Fleet Half Entry

Please let us know if you could run and/or join us for lunch on the day. Contact us at info@harmless.org.uk

The Harmless Team

Self Harm Conference: From Harm to Hope – Tuesday 1st March 2016


Please note that our offices close on Thursday 17th December, any orders for tickets make after this date will not be processed until the week commencing Monday 4th January 2016. 

£150 per delegate place*

What is the purpose of the conference?

The theme of our launch event conference is empowering communities through collaboration.

Harmless recognises that self harm effects a broad range of individuals, facing many diverse experiences; reducing the number of individuals that self harm requires contributions from across society and includes education, prevention, intervention and postvention work.

This exciting new event will bring together private, public, voluntary and community sector organisations, individuals with lived experience of self harm and practitioners & academics in the field of self harm in an ethos of joint working and shared experience.

Our conference is themed around five strategic areas:

  • Collaborative partnership,
  • Service user representation,
  • Effective practice,
  • Driving change
  • Overcoming stigma and discrimination

Delegates can expect to take away from the conference a range of knowledge, inspiration and practical applications for the implementation in real life personal and professional situations. Learning from some of the leaders in the field, delegates will have access to interactive sessions that can drive change in the field of self harm.


The conference will be held at the specialist conference venue in the heart of Nottingham, The Nottingham Conference Centre. For directions please click here

Where can I find more information?

If you would like more information about the forthcoming conference, or to book tickets, then please email jack@harmless.org.uk

Or speak directly to a member of our team on: 0115 934 8445

Cyber Self Harm… Share your story

A TV production company is hoping to make a short film for BBC Three that tackles the emerging issue of cyber self-harm.  We want to understand why people start trolling themselves on social media, like Ask.fm and Tumblr.  We want to explore what drives someone to write abusive posts about themselves and how it makes them feel seeing these posts written by ‘other people’.  This is a very real problem which affects young men and women across the country but very little is known about it. We want to change that. We want to talk to anyone who has struggled with these issues and who might be interested in being involved in this short film. If you would like to be involved in this project, this can be done either confidentially or not and can be about your own personal experiences of cyber self harm or other examples that you have come across.

If you would like to be involved, or would like more information about this short film, please contact us at info@harmless.org.uk

In the News: Postnatal mental health checks missed due to health visitor shortage

Health visitors are blaming under-resourcing for a failure to meet government recommendations to carry out mental health assessments with new mothers.

According to the Institute of Health Visiting (IHV)’s State of Health Visiting Survey 2015, one in four health visitors do not have enough time to provide postnatal mental health (PMH) assessment to families at six to eight weeks, as recommended by the government.

In addition, three quarters of respondents said they are unable to carry out government recommended maternal mental health checks three to four months after birth.

The PMH checks are a key part of the government’s maternal mental health pathway. Previous research involving clinical trials with 4,000 mothers found that those who received health visitor support were 40 per cent less likely to develop post natal depression after six months.

The IHV says although health visiting has benefited from extra investment in the last five years these latest figures show how long-term under resourcing continues to impact on workloads.

Health visitors are also reporting a rise in mental health problems as well as stress factors in family life such as financial worries and domestic abuse.

Of the 1,413 health visitors surveyed, 68 per cent said they had seen an increase in postnatal depression over the last two years, while 81 per cent had seen a rise in domestic violence and 69 per cent an increase in poverty over the same period.

IHV director Dr Cheryll Adams called on commissioners to “make sure that health visitors have the time to provide PMH assessments at 6-8 weeks and again at 3-4 months”.

She added that over the last two years, 10,000 health visitors have undertaken IHV training around mental health problems, domestic violence and safeguarding. In addition, the IHV has trained 573 perinatal “mental health champions” to support local training.

In August, the Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association also
revealed concerns among health visitors around heavy workloads. In its survey of 751 health visitors, 89 per cent said they were taking on more responsibility for children and families with 50 per cent fearing this was causing safeguarding concerns.

Recent investment in health visiting includes an extra £428m in government funding between October 2015 and March 2016 to help disadvantaged areas take on new public health responsibilities for families with babies and young children.

The coalition government also increased funding for health visiting to recruit an extra 4,200 health visitors by 2015, a target it narrowly missed.


To read the full article, please visit: http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1155088/postnatal-mental-health-checks-missed-due-to-health-visitor-shortage?utm_content=&utm_campaign=071215%20Daily&utm_source=Children%20%26%20Young%20People%20Now&utm_medium=adestra_email&utm_term=http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1155088/postnatal-mental-health-checks-missed-due-to-health-visitor-shortage

Harmless Self Harm Drop-in Tomorrow

Harmless will be hosting their next young person drop in session on:

Wednesday 9th December  at 15.30 – 16.30 for those aged up to 21 years.

Our trained therapist will be on hand to offer information or advice about any concerns you may have about self harm.

If you have any concerns about someone such as a family member, friend or a colleague, then please feel free to join us, you will be assured of a friendly welcome.

All drop in sessions will take place at the Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service Building, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FB (Opposite House of Fraser)

If you have trouble finding us please call on 0115 9348445 or email us at info@harmless.org.uk

Send a Card, Save a Life

Harmless’ Christmas Cards are now on sale!

Help support vital self harm and suicide prevention services by sending a festive card this holiday season!

Premium quality cards come in packs of 8 with 2 designs and self seal envelopes


 All the money raised will go directly towards supporting the ongoing work of Harmless and The Tomorrow Project and saving lives.

Buy yours in our online store: www.harmless.org.uk/store/Christmas-cards