Sometimes, people want us to tell them outright why they self-harm or have thoughts of suicide. We could present them with research, evaluations, meta-analyses or literature reviews into risk factors etc., but this is often not helpful for someone experiencing a crisis. While we work with these resources in mind with research and clinical best practice baked into the foundations of the service through safety planning, risk management, safeguarding as well as providing our many excellent CPD accredited training courses, here, we provide people with a safe place to explore their self-harm and suicidality for themselves, free of fear of a negative response, fear or panic.
More often than not, the process of helping someone understand for themselves facilitates not only recognition of why they self-harm or feel suicidal, but presents a turning point that that person identifies for themselves with our continued support. After all, while we’re a service that prides itself on its ability to support people who self-harm or have thoughts of suicide, each person is the expert of their own lives and minds. It’s our hope (and privilege) that people entrust their feelings with us so that we can help them manage self-harm and suicidal thoughts in a way that fits them.
Indeed, Harmless has recently presented at Parliament, represented itself on various national news platforms with the support of some of our clients, and won several awards for our efforts in understanding and preventing self-harm and suicide. While we do not evaluate ourselves on the size of our trophy cases or how many news outlets we speak to, it emphasizes that we are a service that people can rely on for information and support around self-harm and suicide; our clients, families, and professionals alike. With Harmless having just reached its 10 year milestone, I’m proud to work in a service that has gone from strength to strength over the past decade in supporting people who self-harm or have thoughts of suicide.
Bevan Dolan, Suicide Crisis Project Worker