Disclosing self-harm

If you’ve self-harmed, are currently harming yourself or are worried about your feelings or behaviours, visiting your GP can be a great first step to take to access the right support. They will talk to you about how you’re feeling, your current circumstance or situation and be able to refer you for appropriate further support. It can feel daunting to reach out for help. It can be helpful to remind yourself that you’re not alone and that you do deserve support. Many people who self-harm feel they do not deserve help as they feel ashamed or at fault for their actions.

If you are supporting someone else who you think or is self-harming, it can be difficult to know what to say. You can help someone in the following ways:

  • If someone talks to you about their self-harm, they might be worried that you will be angry, judgemental or shocked. Trying to remain calm and thinking about what to say before you say it, can help the other person to feel more comfortable.
  • Show them you’re listening. Take the time to listen. You don’t need to provide immediate solutions or answers, simply listening and being there for someone to confide in can help their situation greatly.
  • Encourage them to seek support. Opening up to you might have taken someone a lot of time and courage in itself, so although you don’t want to pressure someone to immediately go to their GP, it’s important that you do let them know about the professional help out there. You could even suggest attending an appointment with them.
  • If you’re worried someone is self-harming but they have not disclosed this to you, you won’t make their situation worse by simply asking them the question. Find out more about how to open a conversation with someone about mental health here.

Your donation will make the difference

Just £10 could help pay for a call to our advice and information line, supporting someone living with mental illness who may be feeling in distress during this time.