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

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 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


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:


Phone: 0115 934 8445

Harmless’ Range of Resources Around Self Harm are Available to Purchase on Our Online Store

Harmless offer a range of helpful and supportive resources for people who self harm, their families, friends, carers and professionals. These resources can be used to raise awareness, provide insight, promote recovery and help people move forward with their lives. All of the money we raise through the sales of our resources goes directly towards helping us continue delivering our vital services.

Out of Harm’s Way: Harmless DVD

Out of Harm’s Way is a DVD is a resource that can be used by people that self harm, to promote recovery and self belief. It can also be used by professionals or carers to enhance understanding, empathy and strategies that are helpful when supporting people that self harm.

Through the eyes of those with first hand experience, we will examine the nature of self harm, distress, and recovery.

“This DVD has helped me so much. I have struggled to understand my son’s self harm but even this short trailer has given me more empathy and willingness to understand. For the first time – something hopeful about self harm!”

In the DVD, we speak to Jenny, Mark, Fiona and Satveer who have personal experience of self harm and whose courage in speaking out has enabled them to discuss their experiences on film.

In Our Own Word’s Book

In Our Own Words’ aims to promote insight and understanding of self harm. The book contains words and images that have been generated by people whose lives have been touched by self harm; through personal experiences, or by knowing and working with those who have struggled.

In spring 2009 Harmless recruited a team who formed the editorial group for this project. These people had their own stories relating to self harm and were brought together to shape the journey of this book. This was an exercise to create a book that would be useful and inspiring, challenging stigmas and stereotypes. It also provided an opportunity for those who have had their own personal battles to be involved in a project that could change perceptions and reach out to others.

Harmless Workbook

Harmless have developed this workbook in collaboration with service users, therapists and the Institute of Mental Health to provide a tool that can be used to promote recovery and self reflection amongst people that self harm. The workbook provides a series of activities to work through to help the individual to start to reflect upon their ways of coping, and to begin to manage these differently.

The workbook is not a substitute for counselling or therapy, but it is designed to help naturally promote some of the insight that can be helpful to help people move forwards in their life. The belief behind the book is that by promoting awareness, insight and resilience amongst people that self harm, they can start to cope differently, or feel better.

Self Harm Policy Guidance

The purpose of a policy on self harm should be to uphold best practice in relation to self harm, and define clearly the interventions and steps that should be taken to support a young person that is self harm. The policy should inform the staff of what is expected of them, and be a document that helps staff to contain and respond to a situation fairly and responsibly with the best interests of the young person, in mind.

If you would like more information, or to buy any of our products, you can do so by visiting our online shop:

Alternatively you can contact a member of the team by calling us on 0115 934 8445 or emailing

Changes to upcoming drop-in session

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Harmless have rearranged the upcoming drop in for young persons.

This drop-in was due to take place on Friday 15th July 2016, but has now been rescheduled to take place on:

Wednesday 20th July 2016: 3:30pm – 4:30pm

This session is for young persons aged up to 21 years.

Our sessions are friendly and welcoming. Our approachable staff create a friendly and inviting atmosphere, offering a friendly face and provide information about our services.

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

We provide services for anyone and not just for those who self harm. If you have concerns about someone else such as a family member or a colleague then feel free to join us.

Please feel free to bring along someone who you can trust such as a friend if this makes you feel more at ease.

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

Upcoming Harmless Self Harm Drop-in Sessions

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.

Drop-ins will take place at the following times:

17/05/16 Young Person drop-in (11-21yrs) 4:30pm to 5:30pm.

26/05/16 Adult drop-in (18+yrs) 1:00pm to 2:00pm.

02/06/16 Young Person drop-in (11-21yrs) 4:30pm to 5:30pm.

16/06/16 Adult drop-in (18+yrs) 2:00pm to 3:00pm.

22/06/16 Young Person drop-in (11-21yrs) 4:30pm to 5:30pm.

All drop-in sessions will take place at:

Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service Building,
7 Mansfield Road,
(Opposite House of Fraser)

To speak to our friendly team:

Phone: 0115 934 8445

Working through self harm: A workbook – Now available in hard copy

Harmless are pleased to announce that our workbook, working through self harm, is now available to purchase as a hard copy.

Our workbook was developed in collaboration with service users, therapists and the Institute of Mental Health to provide a tool that can be used to promote recovery and self-reflection amongst people that self harm. The workbook provides a series of activities to work through to help the individual to start to reflect upon their way/s of coping, and to begin to manage these differently.

This workbook is not a substitute for counselling or therapy, but it is designed to help naturally promote some of the insight that can be helpful to help people move forwards in their life. The belief behind the book is that by promoting awareness, insight and resilience amongst people that self harm, they can start to cope differently, or feel better.

If you would like more information about our workbook, or would like to purchase a copy, please click the following link to view it on our online shop:

Harmless will be delivering weekly Creative Therapy Sessions

Harmless are about to begin a 12 week Creative Therapy Group. Included within this is the opportunity to be involved in focus groups (helping steer future service provision). We are asking for your advise and knowledge about how things need to change.

The group will be beginning Wednesday 27th April 16.30-17.30. If you are interested please get in touch ASAP.

The creative therapy group will be for individuals aged between 14 and 18 years, with sessions focusing on expression of emotions, connections and self-esteem.

The aim of the creative therapy is to assist you to find a way of expression that helps you to connect with your emotions.  This will include techniques that can be used for self-expression and personal growth.

If you are interested in joining the group or know someone who might be, please feel free to contact us.

To find out more get in touch with Val by calling 0115 9348445 or by emailing

Increasing pressure on children and young people leading to a rise in mental health issues, self harm and suicidal thoughts

In a recent poll carried out by the Association of Teachers and Lectures there has been an increase in young people feeling under more pressure, 55% reported a large rise in pupils with anxiety and stress. There is more academic pressure which results in children as young as six being stressed out about exams and tests. There is excessive testing which has placed that much stress on some young people resulting in a 79% increase in self harm and suicidal thoughts.

Despite government investing £1.4 billion on children’s mental health service in England, some mental health trusts have seen no significant investment in psychiatric services. There are concerns that although the government is determined to improve children’s mental health, there is still a danger that some children will take untreated mental health issues into adulthood.

There is a belief that schools should play a vital role in supporting children’s mental health and build their resilience, but with rising demands, growing complexity and tight budgets getting in the way, some children who need it most may go without support.

If you have any concerns about someone such as a family member, friend or a colleague, then please contact us on 0115 9348445 or email