Harmless do the Mannequin Challenge

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 


Catch up Café

Harmless will be hosting a Catch up Café

Tuesday 13th December 2016

4.30 – 5.30 pm.

If you are 18 or over, and would like support for yourself, a friend or family member then feel free to come along.

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.

Catch up Café sessions are held at Nottingham Community and Voluntary Centre on Mansfield Road (opposite House of Fraser).

If you have trouble finding us please call on 0115 8348445 (professional use only) or email us at info@harmless.org.uk

From Harm to Hope, National Harmless Conference

1st March 2017, Nottingham Conference Centre


Self harm conference 

Our 2nd Annual National Conference looking at effective services for people that self harm, current thinking and implication for practice. 

Themes for the day

– Driving change

–       Collaborative partnership

–       Service user representation

–       Effective practice

–       Overcoming stigma & discrimination

£150 per delegate, CPD certified, Workshops, Food, Speakers, 


Further enquiries or to book, please contact:
Phone: 0115 934 8445
Email: admin@harmless.org.uk

I would like to introduce James Park to you…

He is writing a book which look at the factors causing young people to self harm, the unhelpful ways in which services sometimes respond to their distress, and the routes people find back to feeling on top of things. 

He has written books before, ran for 20 years an organisation that helped schools promote young people’s mental health and emotional well-being, and is a qualified (but currently non-practising) psychotherapist.

He is happy to talk by phone, over skype, face-to-face… or in any other way that works for you. He will treat whatever you tell him as confidential and, if he does use elements of your story in the book, will ensure you cannot be identified.

You can get in touch with James by email (jamesrobertpark@icloud.com), by phone (0771 201 3172) or via Adrienne Grove at Harmless on 01158348445 or email adrienne@harmless.org.uk 

Please take a little time to read his email below and help him to get the correct messages across. If you have any questions please give me or James a call. This is our chance to be heard..

Adults not listening: will you tell me your story?

Ask a young person who sometimes self-harms, or thinks of killing themselves, what it is they most crave from the adults around them, and the chances are they’ll say it’s the opportunity to be really listened to. They may add that really listening is something their parents, teachers and others seem to find it really, really hard to do.

All too often, what adults call listening is actually telling: getting in first with a response to what they think a young person is wanting to say: trying to reassure them that they are loved, have the potential to do well in school, will get better in time. They challenge rather than absorb, try to map a shortcut to health rather than being attentive to the thoughts struggling to be expressed.

The effect on the young person is all too often to plunge them back into the despair they thought they were starting to claw their way out of. Asking to be listened to can be an act of considerable courage. It’s about starting to create a small space in which you can feel in control of your own life, evolving a language to express the strange feelings that toss you around: listening to your true self instead of the angry, reproachful voices in your head. Being talked back to just confirms what you feared all along: that you are powerless and undeserving.

In looking for an explanation of why so many young people today are experiencing such high levels of emotional distress, I suspect the answer is to be found in the fact that adults are finding it harder to listen. There are too many anxieties knocking around in their heads: particularly about whether there’s going to be work available for their child, a decent income to be earned: all of which is seen to be dependent on whether a child will get those grades they are going to need. And that’s before a child has started cutting themselves or opening top-floor windows with the thought that they might jump into oblivion.

Another way adults deal with their anxieties is handing the responsibility for listening to their child on to someone else. But while a therapist or counsellor may provide welcome respite, may foster the courage to go back and ask again… and again … for the right to be heard, they cannot replace having a parent who listens quietly … over many hours and days … to what it is their child is trying to make sense of.

And when an adult thinks they have been listening, and has done the caring thing by finding a professional to help, the next time they hear the child telling them they have not been heard, they may inadvertently, in a few unfortunate seconds, express exasperation or frustration, sparking a further downward spiral as the young person turns away, towards some other strategy for managing their despair.

I am writing a book about how we, as a society, can break these cycles of failed communication. To do that I want to hear your stories: whether of asking to be listened to from people who could not respond, or of finding a listener who helped you to health; of trying to listen but failing, or of finding a way to do so. Please get in touch via email (jamesrobertpark@icloud.com) or phone (0771 201 3172). I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,


Harmless Drop in

Harmless will be hosting a

Young Person Drop in Session

Thursday 8th December.

4 – 5 pm

If you are aged between 11 – 21 years, and would like support for yourself, a friend or family member then feel free to come along.

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.

Drop in sessions are held at Nottingham Community and Voluntary Centre on Mansfield Road (opposite House of Fraser).

If you have trouble finding us please call on 0115 8348445 (Professional use only)
or email us at info@harmless.org.uk

A Mother’s Love

The moment your bundle’s presented
There are feelings unique and brand new,
You feel an overwhelming surge of love –
Unconditional?  You find is quite true. 

You forgive those broken nights of sleep
And forget all those four hourly feeds.
Your life seems to do a massive ‘shift’
As you tend to your little ones needs.

Your new life slowly adapts and develops,
You grow with pride at each passing phase,
You marvel at his many achievements
And coo at his endearing cute ways.

You can’t imagine life before he arrived
Or describe the joy he’s helped to create.
The richness is vast… yet exhausting,
Bring on bedtime!… you really can’t wait.

The opportunity to have five minutes to unwind,
And refresh yourself to face the new day
Because you find a ‘new’ you is evolving
And the old ‘you’ has scuttled away.

You somehow lose a piece of your identity
When you’d expected to feel more rounded.
You pray that your worries will all disappear
And that those niggling doubts are unfounded.

Your own Mum made it look so easy,
And on the surface you’re a graceful swan
But beneath you’re crazily paddling
And wondering where the really ‘you’s’ gone.

 – Written by a service user at Harmless

Thank you to Children In Need for supporting our young people self harm services

Tonight (18th November 2016) we will see 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.

Since their first major Appeal in 1980, BBC Children in Need has raised over £800 million supporting thousands of projects to help achieve their vision; that every child in the UK has a childhood which is safe, happy and secure and allows them the chance to reach their potential.

Harmless are one of the many projects that have benefited from the money raised by the public and Children In Need.

In 2012, Harmless were awarded £88,910 over a 3 year period and supported more than 300 young people aged 11 to 18 who self-harm (or are at risk of self-harm).

In 2015, Harmless were awarded a further £109,489 to provide weekly counselling support for those who self harm or are at risk of suicide. We are now in our second year having already directly supported 63 different children and young people across Nottingham in year 1.

Earlier this year, Children In Need also created a short video about the work Harmless do which you can watch here: [Insert Link]

On behalf the Harmless team, I would like to thank Children in Need and their team for the continued support that they have given to Harmless and the children and young people that access our 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 2015 on BBC One from 7:00pm on Friday 18th 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 info@harmless.org.uk

Meet our Clinical and Support Services Team

During my time as Clinical and Support Services Manager I have observed Harmless and The Tomorrow Project grow from a very small area in an office with three members to what it is today. I am proud to say I have been part of the team over the past nine years. We have grown from strength to strength enabling access to psychological services, information, training and consultancy to people who are at risk of self harm, suicidal thoughts and intent; their friends, families and professionals. People self harm to manage their distress, and as high as 1 in 10 people have at some point coped in this way. At the heart of our service there is a real sense of hope and recovery, we know that with the appropriate help, life experiences can ultimately be improved. You can help us to reduce the stigma and isolation for people who are struggling by being willing to talk about this subject.

The Tomorrow Project is a confidential suicide prevention project that has been set up to support individuals and communities to prevent suicide. Suicide is a decision that someone makes to end their life when they feel overwhelmed by their life circumstances.  The struggles they face can seem too difficult or painful and they feel and think like they have run out of options. We are providing crisis services in the community to people at risk of suicide and support to families and communities who are bereaved by suicide. Talking about the subject will shatter stigma, enable people to share their story and therefore find the support they need.

I’m excited to build on clinical services within Harmless and The Tomorrow Project working with colleagues and the community to give our community the resources, training and support needed to do your bit in supporting, signposting, and enabling help seeking.

Over the past few weeks the Tomorrow Project Team have launched our new Crisis Cafe, named by people attending, as the Catch Up Cafe. Here you can meet the team:

Adrienne Grove

Clinical and Support Services Manager


Val Stevens

Harmless Self Harm and Suicide Prevention Worker


Colin Menz

Harmless Project Worker


Bevan Dolan

Tomorrow Project Suicide Crisis Project Worker


Katie Smith

Tomorrow Project Suicide Crisis Project Worker


Ashley Dunstan

Tomorrow Project Suicide Bereavement Project Worker


For those of you looking for some support, wanting to meet the team or just a chat up, get in touch and come have a cuppa with us. To find out when the next Catch up Cafe will be, contact us at info@harmless.org.uk. See you at the catch Up Cafe!


Upcoming self harm training in Leicester

Harmless self harm awareness and prevention training is coming to Leicester.

We are pleased to announce  that we will be delivering our intermediate self harm training day on 24th October 2016, at LCB Depot in Leicester City Centre

Self harm training  – Intermediate

LCB Depot 31 Rutland Street Leicester LE1 1RE

£80 per delegate

Monday 24th October

What do our training days provide?

Our general training days provide an opportunity for individuals from a broad range of professional arenas to attend and get a detailed overview of self harm and working with self harm.

Our training days cover:

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

The training is CPD certified and is delivered over the course of a day and will use a range of delivery methods. Price includes a resource/training pack for all participants.

To book a place either go onto our shop and secure your place there


or call us on 0115 934 8445 and ask for Sophie Allen (Training Co-ordinator)

or you can send an email to training@harmless.org.uk


Harmless’ Training Reach

You may have seen recently our blog about the importance of training, which provided key comments from Professor Keith Hawton, taken from his recent attendance at the conference: Responding effectively to self harm and suicidality.

In light of this informative blog, we felt it important to explore this further in terms of the reach Harmless training has had and the benefits this will have on those in distress.

Since 2013, Harmless has delivered training to around 3,100 delegates. This averages out to nearly 100 people each month that receive vital training from us.

So, let’s think about the reach our training has had.

  • We recently completed a survey for the Wellness in Mind Training programme, in line with the Adult Mental Health Strategy, that we have been commissioned to deliver by Nottingham City Council and CCG.
  • Mental health training was delivered to those that live or work in Nottingham City. So those that had reach in the city.
  • During the contract period, we delivered training to 374 delegates
  • Out of this, 327 of these were professionals, with the remainder being carers or accessing the Community Workshop.

Within this survey, we wanted to be able to assess the reach, as this is the significant point to any of our training.

We identified that 327 professionals averaged 40 people per week with whom they have professional contact, which includes managerial responsibilities to employees.

From these delegates, we then questioned the number of delegates that had utilised the skills or knowledge they had gained from our training and applied it to individuals they support or work with and from this we identified the average reach of 50%, which averages at around 20 individuals per week.

This provided us with a weekly total reach of 6540 in Nottingham City alone.

We have completed the same process for our bespoke general self harm, suicide awareness and prevention and mental health training, and found we received similar responses in terms of reach.

So based on the fact we have delivered training to around 3,100 delegates in the last 2 and a half years alone, and with the information provided, we have calculated the approximate reach of our training to be around 62,000 individuals in distress, nationwide. This is a phenomenal amount of people our training has reached, and we know this will only increase the more training we deliver

The benefits to this, means that we have been able to equip frontline workers, managers, carers, volunteers etc. to support these individuals. By raising awareness, providing strategies and brief interventions to these groups, we know we would have made a difference to those in distress.

Harmless offer a tiered approach to training to ensure we meet organisational and delegates needs, ranging from introductory through to specialist level of training.

Our training will encourage you to explore awareness and develop an understanding of the key issues faced by people in distress. We will also explore the impact that we, as service providers, can potentially have upon the health, wellbeing and recovery of those in distress.

At the heart of our service is a real sense of hope. People can and do recover from the most distressing of feelings. This key message is reiterated throughout our training and also through our trainers lived experience of their own personal journeys. This key point really brings home to delegates, that with a little bit of hope, the right support, and training, we can really make a difference and reach out to those that need us the most.

If you would like any further information on any of our training or would like a personalised quote, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us:

Email: training@harmless.org.uk

Phone: 0115 934 8445