Harmless: Who we are?

Caroline Harroe CEO summing up what Harmless is all about. To learn more about how Harmless can help you or someone you know email: 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

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!


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 info@harmless.org.uk

Can psychotherapy reduce suicide and self harm in young people?

Written by Mark Smith

Mark is a qualified and experienced psychotherapist who works as an IAPT NHS clinician and in private practice. He has a number of years of experience working with patients with mental health issues. Mark is also a freelance trainer who regularly delivers workshops and seminars on a diverse range of mental health disorders and interventions. He is particularly interested in addiction theory and therapy, anger management, outcome measures in psychotherapy and mental health disorders. He holds a PhD and is a member of both the BACP and BABCP;

In recent weeks suicide prevention has been the focus of much publicity. Much of this is of course due to stark fact that around 800,000 people take their own lives around the globe each year (WHO, 2014). This month also marked World Suicide Prevention Day and the theme this year was ‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’.

We elves also made our very own significant contribution to this debate by dedicating our latest expert campfire discussion to the subject of Suicide prevention in young people. Elf experts discussed the prevalence (Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds worldwide – WHO, 2014) and the importance of compassion in preventing suicide and self-harm in young people. If you missed it, you can watch the broadcast below.

I was therefore most pleased to be asked to write my latest blog on a recent systematic review and meta-analysis on therapeutic interventions for the prevention of suicide attempts and self-harm in adolescents. This according to the authors, was the first published meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating therapeutic interventions (TIs) in reducing both suicidal behaviour and non-suicidal self-harm in adolescents.



The authors (led by Dr. Ougrin from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust) searched the Cochrane, Medline, PsychINFO, EMBASE, and PubMed databases (as of May 2014) for articles which presented data on the efficacy of therapeutic interventions on suicide, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) or self-harm (the authors used the term “self-harm,” referring to the broad definition used in the UK and Europe that includes NSSI, suicide attempts, and self-harm with undetermined intent). Inclusion criteria are stated as being:

RCTs of specific TIs, defined as a theoretically coherent, manualized (or otherwise replicable) psychological, social, or pharmacological intervention, versus control treatment or placebo, in adolescents through age 18 years who have self-harmed at least once.

Self-harm was the primary outcome measure in the meta-analysis.

The authors’ used an impressive array of statistical tests to examine: pooled risk differences; pooled mean effect size; estimated variance of the true effect sizes; sensitivity and meta-regression analyses; estimates of heterogeneity. Meta-regression was performed to assess the influence of the number of sessions, length of follow-up periods, family, proportion of females, proportion of patients taking psychotropic medication, mean age, characterisation of the control group, quality of the study, and outcome measure (suicide only/suicide and self-harm) on the effect size. Finally, they also looked at publication bias.


For the full story, please follow this link:


Harmless Self Harm Drop-in next Wednesday

Harmless will be hosting their next young person drop in session on:

Wednesday  18th November  at 3:30pm – 4:30pm

for young people aged up to 21 years.

Our trained therapist will be on hand to offer information or advice about any concerns you may have about self harm.

If you have any concerns about someone such as a family member, friend or a colleague, then please feel free to join us, you will be assured of a friendly welcome.

All drop in sessions will take place at the Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service Building, & Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FB (Opposite House of Fraser)

If you have trouble finding us please call on 0115 9348445 or email us at info@harmless.org.uk


In the News: Stress can cause pupils to self harm, say nearly half of school staff

Nearly two-thirds of education staff believe pressure on teachers and schools to succeed is one of the main causes of student stress, resulting in self harm, drug abuse and eating disorders.

New research from teaching union the ATL shows that 65 per cent of respondents think pupils are stressed out owing to testing and exams; 48 per cent think pupils suffer from stress because of an overcrowded curriculum and 21 per cent think the cause is the volume of homework.

Sixty-one per cent of respondents believe the pressure on teachers and schools to do well cascades down to pupils, while almost a quarter (22 per cent) think students are worried about getting into the best school or university.

One primary teacher from Oxford, who took part in the survey, said: “Pupils are picking up on teachers’ stress owing to inspections and lack of choice of how and what to teach.”

The survey reveals that many education professionals believe rising stress levels are leading to self harm, attempted suicides and eating disorders among students.

Forty-four per cent of education staff think young people self harm as a direct result of pressure, while 31 per cent believe pressure results in eating disorders and 12 per cent think it can cause attempted suicide.

Thirty-four per cent of respondents think students skive off as a result of pressure and stress, while 21 per cent say students take recreational drugs to alleviate the pressure.

Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) say pupils in their school are under more pressure and stress than two years ago.

A secondary teacher from Cambridge said: “These issues were still prevalent 10 years ago, but now, I think, we are better at identifying them. Sadly, there is still not enough funding to do much. Students can sometimes wait months for an initial assessment, even when suicidal.”

The survey of 1,250 ATL members working in primary and secondary schools, academies and sixth-forms was carried out in August and September this year.

Speaking ahead of ATL’s fringe event on pupil wellbeing at the Labour Party conference, Dr Mary Bousted, the union’s general secretary, said: “It is shocking that so many young people are under so much stress that they self harm. It is also alarming that much of the pressure and stress is caused by the education system and this needs to be a wake-up call to policymakers.”

To read the full article, please visit: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/stress-can-cause-pupils-self-harm-say-nearly-half-school-staff

In the News: Teenage chat guide helps parents spot online dangers

Parents concerned their children are “zerging” or giving away their ASL will be able to decode social media using a language guide launched by government.

The dictionary translates abbreviations used by teenagers, including get naked on cam (GNOC) and age, sex, location (ASL) often used by children using anonymous chatrooms to disclose their personal details.

The tool will also help parents spot when their child issues a P999 (parent alert) or a CD9 (Code 9), to make their online friends aware their parents are around.

For the full story: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/sep/06/teenage-chat-guide-helps-online-dangers-parent-info-p999

Introduction to Self Harm and Working with Self Harm: General Training – 2nd November 2015

Our next Introduction to Self Harm and Working with Self Harm: General Training day will be held on Tuesday 2nd November 2015.

This training day will 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. Although there is some opportunity for delegates to explore the impact upon them in their own professional arenas, the training is non-specific to a particular field.

The training day will 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 your place, click here, or email training@harmless.org.uk

Date: Tuesday 2nd November 2015

Venue:  Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3FB

Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm

Harmless Self Harm Drop-in on Thursday

Harmless provide two drop-in sessions per month, one for adults and a separate one for young people.

Our next drop-in session is for young persons and will be held on:

Thursday 6th August at 3pm –  4pm for young persons aged up to 21 years.

Our trained therapist will be on hand to offer information or advice about any concerns you may have about self harm.

If you have any concerns about someone such as a family member, friend or a colleague, then please feel free to join us, you will be assured of a friendly welcome.

All drop-in sessions will take place at the Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service Building, Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FB (Opposite House of Fraser)

If you have trouble finding us please call on 0115 9348445, or email us at info@harmless.org.uk.