Harmless are here for you

Christmas is just around the corner and for many of us, ‘tis the season to be merry. This isn’t the case for everyone. Aside from the cold and dark months of winter having a physical effect on our bodies and brains, this time of the year can be difficult for people for a variety of reasons. If you celebrate Christmas there are the obvious financial and gift pressures, which can be incredibly real, for some of us more than others. It’s also naturally a time for reflection, as the year draws to a close and we think about what the year has brought for us, and those around us. Perhaps we’re not as close to our families as we’d like, maybe we don’t have the same kind of family relationships as others. We can compare our situations to “idyllic” ones and can feel guilty, sad, isolated, or worse. Maybe we’ve lost people in our lives or have had a particularly challenging year. Christmas is about love, giving, celebrating with those closest to us. This isn’t always easy.

 

Here at Harmless, we know that life can be hard. Mental ill health and suicidal thought don’t magically disappear just because Santa is on his way. This being said, many of us can prepare, emotionally, for what we might know will be a hard time of the year. What can be even more difficult than Christmas is the New Year. January and February can be really tough. Our Christmas spirit has been put away for another 12 months, and we are all faced with another fresh year. Suicide rates are higher just after Christmas than they are during the festive period – people can feel blue, particularly as the winter just keeps on going.

 

Please know that Harmless are here for you. Our clinical team are experts in supporting people through periods of distress. No matter who is in your life, please remember that we are here and we truly care.

 

We want to continue to support everyone who comes to our service, and if you want to help us, you can vote for us in the Cheer For Good campaign. This will give us the chance to win a grant of £2000, which would help us continue to save lives. To vote, please create a Twitter or Facebook post with the following: #CheerForGood and @HarmlessUK.

 

Seasons greetings from us all xx

Save a life, Cheer for Harmless!

As part of the #CheerForGood campaign partnership between Neighbourly and Starbucks, supporting local community organisations. There are 120 charities across the UK competing for 2K. The top 30 charities who #Cheer the loudest will win a grant of 2K!!!

For a small charitable organisation (only 16 of us!) this is a HUGE amount of money. For an idea how huge… £25 is the cost of one therapeutic session that could save someone’s life.

To help us win please like, share, post, re tweet, Tweet and comment! Any social media activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and  Neighbourly will increase our cheer score!

The more people supporting us the more lives are saved. So if you believe in saving lives please cheer for us!

#CheerForGood #HarmlessUK #Nottingham 

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 2018!

Services will close on Friday 15th December and reopen Tuesday 2nd January.

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, suicide and mental health.

2018 will see us hold our third national self harm conference ‘From Harm to Hope’ on March 1st (Self Harm Awareness Day) and many more exciting things to come.

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 116 123.

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree…

We would love to re-home all the Christmas Trees in our Forest of hope to people in need or distress. If anyone would like a Christmas tree please send us an email at info@harmless.org.uk to reserve the tree and you can collect Friday 15 December.

 

We want to do all we can to bring as much joy and hope to anyone in need. If you’d like a tree from our forest of hope, please let us know.

Ways to contact:

info@harmless.org.uk or 0115 880 0280

CHEER FOR HARMLESS

As part of the #CheerForGood campaign partnership between Neighbourly and Starbucks, supporting local community organisations. There are 120 charities across the UK competing for 2K. The top 30 charities who #Cheer the loudest will win a grant of 2K!!!

For a small charitable organisation (only 16 of us!) this is a HUGE amount of money. For an idea how huge… £25 is the cost of one therapeutic session that could save someone’s life.

To help us win please like, share, post, re tweet, Tweet and comment! Any social media activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and  Neighbourly will increase our cheer score!

The more people supporting us the more lives are saved. So if you believe in saving lives please cheer for us!

#CheerForGood #HarmlessUK #Nottingham 

Send a card, Save a life!

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 

From Harm to Hope: Introducing the Speakers

Pam Burrows

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Pam Burrows has been speaking professionally for over 25 years in the public sector, third sector and in the commercial world. Previously delivering business skills workshops globally to blue chip companies, for the last 17 years she has focused closer to home on the value of boosting the confidence, energy and positivity of people.

In 2015 Pam won a European OSHA award with Nottingham City Homes for reducing stress in the workplace and also became a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association.

Pam is a qualified Nursery Nurse, Social Worker and Master Practitioner in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). She appears regularly on TV and BBC Radio and has produced 2 short films on social issues.

She is taking far too long to write a book and to fill the gap has recently produced an Android and iOS app with free confidence boosting resources. Pam wears a tutu when the mood takes her, gives up sugar and takes it up again on a regular basis and quite likes hugging trees when no-one’s looking.

From Harm to Hope Conference

We are pleased to announce that Harmless’ third national self harm conference will be held on Thursday 1st March 2018, Self Harm Awareness Day. This year’s theme is ‘self harm: suicide prevention starts here’.

As in previous years, the conference will be shaped around the following five strategic areas:

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

Our conference gathers together leading academics and experts in the fields of self harm and suicide.

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In the Press: ‘Pupils are so distressed that they think the only way out is death’

Teenagers are attempting suicide because they can’t cope with the stress, and that is partly down to the fact that education has become a conveyor belt of expectations, warns one parent

My 18-year-old daughter has just texted me to say that one of her friends has tried to kill herself and my daughter is on her way to the hospital to see her. Earlier this year, another one of her friends killed himself, despite embarking on what was to have been a happy and exciting gap year.

And at the weekend, my son went to visit his friend who had tried to kill herself and is still in a psychiatric hospital, where I hope she is receiving the help she needs. Her sudden absence at school was unexplained and he had been trying to get in touch with her for weeks. Once he found out what had happened, he immediately made arrangements to see her and spend time with her. She is 16.

One family, two children, three friends who reached crisis.

And our family cannot be the exception. I just hope it is not the norm. The pressure on children is immense. The endless testing, the feeling that if you fail your GCSEs your life is over, that if you fail your A levels you are useless, that if you get anything less than a 2:1 you might as well not have bothered going to university. All ratchet up the pressure to achieve, the guilt, the feeling that you should always be working. No wonder teenagers drink themselves to oblivion or take drugs, seeking to escape by other means.

It starts at nursery, the constant comparisons, the measuring of achievement, the target setting. And all fun is sucked out of learning by the time you are 7, very aware of the stress of Sats and the pressure on your teacher. Children pick up signals from their role models. They know the stakes. And then through the rest of primary school, to Year 6, where the school’s reputation is on the line, to GCSEs, on which your future life is said to be riding, and on to A levels, where you are berated for not working hard enough almost as a constant for the two-year duration. The pressure of A-level results day is such that another girl at a nearby school killed herself on the day – before even opening the envelope. And, of course, her achievements were stellar.

Young people in crisis
Urgent action is needed nationwide for change. Change in how we assess children, change in the support available to them, and change in how easy that support is to access. Schools do their best, but recent reports have said that children are waiting up to 18 months to be seen by the NHS for mental health problems. This is too long. A year and a half can be an eternity to a young person who is struggling. And it is an absurdity to a young person in crisis. It should not be a surprise that desperate acts are becoming more common. The key to stopping any destructive behaviour, be it self-harm or self-criticism, is action – and action is what we need now. Young Minds has outlined what the government should include in its forthcoming Green Paper on children’s mental health. The government must listen to the good sense talked by an organisation that works at the front line of children in crisis. And that is the key. These are children. Children who are so distressed that they think the only way out is death.

We must help our teenagers develop resilience, a skin thick enough for them to survive living in the eye of social media, and optimism about their future. In Brexit Britain, where many teenagers feel betrayed, optimism is hard to come by, but social media can serve many purposes, including one of support and camaraderie. I have not met a friend of my children’s who did not look out for their fellow teens and who was not there when needed. Behind every teenage selfie is someone capable of compassion and good sense.

This is not the snowflake generation. This is a generation of children who have had to learn to live in the critical eye of the social network, with the constant comparisons, with the pressure always to be on point. The commodification of education has created a conveyor belt of expectations, and they believe that if you do not meet those then forget it, your life has no value. Play up, play the game, or game over.

Our children are worth more than this and we should value them for what they can bring to the world. The distress some of them live with cannot be ignored – we must acknowledge it and act now to give them the future they deserve.

Karl Ingram is a pseudonym. He is a parent of teenage children in London

Link to the original blog: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/pupils-are-so-distressed-they-think-only-way-out-death

 

CHEER FOR HARMLESS

As part of the #CheerForGood campaign partnership between Neighbourly and Starbucks, supporting local community organisations. There are 120 charities across the UK competing for 2K. The top 30 charities who #Cheer the loudest will win a grant of 2K!!!

For a small charitable organisation (only 16 of us!) this is a HUGE amount of money. For an idea how huge… £25 is the cost of one therapeutic session that could save someone’s life.

To help us win please like, share, post, re tweet, Tweet and comment! Any social media activity on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and  Neighbourly will increase our cheer score!

The more people supporting us the more lives are saved. So if you believe in saving lives please cheer for us!

#CheerForGood #HarmlessUK #Nottingham 

From Harm to Hope: Introducing the speakers

Marie Armstrong

Marie Armstrong is a Nurse Consultant leading the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Self-harm Service in Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. She has over 29 years’ experience working across the four tiers of CAMHS and in 2000 was appointed as the first CAMHS Nurse Consultant in the UK. Her current role includes 50% direct clinical practice as well as research, teaching, professional leadership, consultation and service development. She has developed and implemented good practice guidelines for the management of young people who self-harm, contributed to the NICE guidelines on self-harm and speaks at conferences. As well as being qualified in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nursing Marie is also a UKCP registered Systemic Family/Psychotherapist.   

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