From Harm to Hope: Introducing the Speakers

Claire Dixon

Claire has been a specialist trainer with Harmless since November 2016. She previously coordinated and delivered healthy relationship work in secondary schools for domestic abuse prevention charity Equation.

Claire volunteered with Samaritans for five years as a listening volunteer, trainer, and coordinator for HMP Nottingham’s Listeners Scheme.

Claire’s passion for training in this sector comes through experience working with young people and schools, as well as personal experience of self harm, suicide and mental health problems. Through training, she hopes to further promote awareness and challenge stigma around self harm, mental health and suicide.


Today is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is November 18, 2017

Survivor Day is a day when people affected by suicide loss can come together to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope.

The word “suicide” is also not only an emotive word, but a stigmatized one. We are frequently reluctant to say this word and there’s also a fear of using it, of acknowledging it. I feel this can often be the case for anyone involved; the person themselves, friends and family talking to them about it, as well as professionals involved in their care.

The effects of a death by suicide can be much like a grenade. Like stone skipping, they can manifest themselves through a ripple effect, with the circle expanding further and further, new circles appearing, and many lives being affected.

Usually, there is not one experience that contributes to the reason someone takes their life; not a moment in time that drives them there but these complicated internal experiences in relation to every moment spent on earth that accumulate towards this fatal decision.

Yet, guilt is held in so many of the families, friends and colleagues that we see. The ‘what ifs’; the blame; the remorse; the guilt; the shame; the why?

Followed by anger. Agony. Disbelief.

It varies. It changes.

The one thing that’s so consistent about suicide is that it is an avoidable tragedy that is hard to ever reconcile. It destroys lives. It is different for every single person that faces it, and people often struggle to share their thoughts about suicide.

Suicide is the biggest killer in the UK– the second biggest killer of our young people- the largest cause of death to our men. In 2016 there were 6,188 suicides and that’s 6,188 more deaths than there should have been.

Let’s come today, on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, and bring hope. Let’s use this day to start conversations and let everyone know it’s OK to talk. We are here and we are listening.

Reaching out is not always the easiest thing to do, but we are here, and we want to help. If you need support you can refer in to us through a variety of different ways, you can call us on 0115 880 0280, e-mail us at ask your doctor to get in touch with us, ask a friend, message us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even if there’s someone you know who is struggling and you’d like to find out what support is available then please let us know.

Bereavement by suicide is uniquely devastating and we know how much impact this can have on family, friends, colleagues and the community. This isn’t something that anyone should have to face alone, and that’s why we’re here so please, let us be there for you.

Why not spread some festive cheer with our premium quality Christmas cards, and help save lives while doing so!


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Harmless’ Christmas Cards are now on sale! Help support vital self harm and suicide prevention services by sending a festive card this holiday season! Send a card, save a life! Premium quality cards come in packs of 8 with 2 … Continue reading

A big thank you to Children In Need from Harmless for funding our young people self harm and suicide prevention support services.

Tonight (Friday 17th November 2017) sees the return of BBC Children in Need’s appeal show – an annual event which looks to raise money that will be used to make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged children across the UK.

Harmless received £109,489, over 3 years, from Children In Need in 2015 to provide therapeutic support to children and young people at risk of self harm or suicide. Through counselling and support, we use the money to reduce incidents of self harm, providing coping strategies and improved psychological wellbeing.

Here is a short testimony written by a young person who has received support services funded by CIN:

”When I went to Harmless, at first it was to keep everyone else happy. My parents were worried about me and life felt as though it was falling apart. Then I realised it was for me. The people at Harmless wanted to help me find my way and figure out what I needed. They didn’t tell me what to do or what I should be like. They helped me figure out what to do different. 

When I first went, I had stopped seeing friends. I didn’t care about much. I just felt rubbish all the time and I was dreading the future and didn’t see the point. 

Now it’s different and I feel so glad that I went and was pushed to go.

I felt hopeless before but now I am looking forwards. I didn’t see my friends and felt as though everyone hated me but now I am happy with the friendship group that I have and I am starting to plan a future where I can help other people. Hopefully one day I can work for somewhere like Harmless.”

On behalf the Harmless team, I would like to thank Children in Need and their wonderful team for the continued support that they have given to Harmless and the children and young people that access our support service(s). We wish everyone all the best and hope that they have another record breaking evening.

Darren Fox
Business and Operations Manager

To view an animation created by BBC Children in Need and Harmless, please click Bronwyn’s Story.

Watch Appeal Show 2017 on BBC One from 7:30pm on Friday 17th November

You can donate to Children in Need by clicking here

To learn more about our self harm support services, please contact Harmless by emailing

Save a life this Christmas!

Please support our Christmas Appeal. if you were thinking of donating instead of sending cards, or you’d like to do something good for someone instead of buying a gift – then please think of us.

Each year we receive more and more requests for help and hear increasingly tragic stories of loss, yet we still have no statutory funding for our work.

For us to even think about delivering the same level of support in 2018 we are going to need your help.

Please share our appeal far and wide. However little or much you can afford, every penny will help. Please visit the following link if you would like to make a donation:

Can you help?

We are in desperate need of mobile phones for our clinical team. We are in need of mobile phones with basic text and calling services, unlocked to all networks or to O2.

With our growing service and all the money we raise or receive going directly to therapeutic support, we are unable to find the funds to buy phones, so we are asking you all for help.

The phones will be used by the team whilst in service and out on community based visits, so basic text and calling is all we need.

Are you able to help?

Please give us a call at 0115 880 0280 or email if you can help.

Harmless Drop-in Dates

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
around 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

1 Beech Avenue, Sherwood Rise, Nottingham, NG7 7LJ.

To speak to our friendly team:

Phone:  (0115) 880 0280


Cheer for Good: please vote for us today!

Help us become a ‘Cheer for Good’ nominated charitable organization and we could receive a £2,000 grant. We only have until tomorrow so please tweet and email to nominate us!!!

The more people to enter our name the better are our chances!


From the 29th November to the 20th December 2017, 210 charities and their supporters nominated by Starbucks partners and customers around Great Britain will be raising awareness of important local causes.

Cheer for Good will celebrate the hard work of charities and community groups by inviting friends and supporters to cheer for them on Neighbourly and Twitter to raise their ‘cheer score’. All participating charities will receive a £500 grant from Starbucks and the thirty charities whose supporters cheer the loudest will get a £2,000 grant.

To nominate Harmless, please fill in the form below by the 15th November 2017.

National Kindness Day

National Kindness Day is this week so I wanted to take the opportunity to ask everyone who reads this blog to do a random act of kindness.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small, and you don’t even need to say it was you. Just a simple act of kindness. An act of compassion, one human to another.

For someone who may be struggling, a simple act could make the world of difference. It could be the reason that person made it through the day. A little bit of compassion can go so far. You can literally save a life by being kind.

Mental health doesn’t discriminate; anyone can be affected. Any age, any gender, any religion or background. Rich or poor. It doesn’t matter. Each and every one of us have mental health, its equal to physical health and needs to be looked after just the same. You wouldn’t hesitate when putting a plaster on a graze because you can see it, or taking a day off work because you have the flu….and our mental health shouldn’t be any different. 

Just because we can’t ‘see’ someone who is struggling doesn’t mean to say they aren’t. A small, perhaps random act of kindness will take only seconds of your day and may seem so small but to someone who is struggling; it could literally be what helped them through the day/week. It could be what helped them survive.

In the UK in 2016 6,188 people died by suicide, making it the second leading cause of death. That’s 6,188 more deaths than there should have been and exactly why of a day such as todays we need to remind each other to be kind. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing.

1 in 4 of us will struggle with our mental health at some point in our life….but if we think about the wider impact this has on our friends/family, then most of society will be affected in some way. So with that in mind why don’t as a society we all stick together and support each other.  We truly never know the impact our words and actions can have on another person so just being kind to everyone our paths cross is so important.

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Hold the door for the person behind you
  2. Compliment a stranger
  3. Leave a note with kind words in public for someone to find
  4. Buy someone a coffee
  5. Donate old clothes to charity
  6. Thank the people who have made a difference in your life (they might not even know!!)
  7. Let people know you appreciate them
  8. Give someone a lift home
  9. Leave a kind note in a library or borrowed book
  10. Donate used linen or blankets to animal shelters
  11. Take out your neighbours rubbish bin
  12. Donate used books to a library
  13. Make a small random donation to a not for profit organisation local to you

Whatever you do we hope you enjoy it. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing so let’s come together and sprinkle it everywhere.


In the News: Children and young people with mental health problems waiting up to 18 months before they get help, finds report.

Investigators find youngsters are facing ‘agonising waits’ for treatment.

The Government has been accused of “neglecting” children’s mental health after it emerged some youngsters are waiting more than a year to be treated.

A major review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of mental health services for young people has found that vulnerable children are facing “agonising waits” for treatment, with one young person who spoke to investigators waiting for 18 months.

During prolonged waits, children and young people are unable to access the support they need, causing their mental health to deteriorate further, with some starting to self-harm, become suicidal or drop out of school during the wait to receive support, the report found.

The findings also showed that even when children do access treatment, the services were not always adequate to respond to their needs, with more than a third (39 per cent) of specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) across the UK currently requiring improvement.

There is also regional variation in the estimated prevalence of mental health problems in children and young people, with an estimated 8 per cent of children aged 5 to 16 years old in the Thames Valley area suffering from a mental health condition, compared with 11 per cent in London, investigators found.

The report has prompted calls for the Government to ring-fence mental health budgets so that money reaches front line services and to set maximum waiting times.

Responding to the findings, Barbara Keeley MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health, said: “This report reveals the Tory Government’s abject failure of children and young people in urgent need of mental health treatment.

“It is a scandal that as a result of the Tories’ neglect of child and adolescent mental health over a third of services need to improve access, with some children having to wait as long as eighteen months to be treated.

“Labour will continue to call on the Tory Government to invest in and ring-fence mental health budgets as Labour pledged at the General Election, so that money reaches the underfunded services on the front line.”

Former Liberal Democrat Care Minister Norman Lamb echoed her concerns, saying: “If the current Government had shown leadership in driving these changes and ensuring that funding was being spent where it was needed, we might have seen more progress.

“The Prime Minister makes all the right noises about improving mental health care, now she needs to translate these words into action. Children deserve better.”

The report comes as child mental health charities and campaigners warned that young people are not receiving adequate mental health provision.

Recent research by the Children’s Society’s found that 30,000 children were being turned away from mental health services every year and not receiving any support or treatment at all.

It also found that children missed 157,000 mental health appointments last year, with many missed appointments never followed up by health professionals to check that the children concerned were safe and well.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children’s Society, said in response to the CQC report: “Despite increased attention and investment, services remain fragmented and are increasingly overstretched, and too many children are suffering as a result.


Read the full article here: