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Some young people self harm a lot. Some do it just once or a few times. If you self harm, there are lots of people who can help you understand why you feel the need to self harm and how to stop.

Why do people self harm

For some people it is part of coping with a problem and they stop once the problem is resolved.

It's a way for some young people to have some control over their bodies when they feel they can't cope with other things going on around them.

Some young people may start to self harm as a way of dealing with the problems and pressures of everyday life - like looking a certain way, pressure to fit in or doing well at school.

Young people who self harm may have low self esteem. For some this is linked to how they think they look, eating disorders, or drug misuse.

Getting help if you are self harming

It can be hard to get help and you might feel these are stopping you from getting help - 

  • You feel too ashamed or bad about yourself
  • you feel worried that who you tell will be shocked or angry with you<
  • you’re frightened people might think you’re mad, suicidal or attention seeking
  • you may find it hard to trust people
  • you might be worried that you’re forced into treatment you don't want

Remember you're not alone. Lots of other young people who self harm have made the same decision - and many have been helped to stop hurting themselves.

Where to get help

Your school

Self-harm is more and more common so your school will almost certainly have experience of helping pupils and their families. They will probably also have a school counsellor or another member of staff that you trust and can go to during the day if you feel like you're in danger of hurting yourself.

Your first step should be to speak to the person in charge of child protection for the school. Then take it from there.

Your GP

The family doctor can help in a few ways. They can listen, as well as treating injuries and giving medical advice. They could also refer you for specialist help if you need it.

NSPCC helpline

You can call our experienced counsellors whenever you need to on 0808 800 5000. They're used to dealing with the effects of self-harm and your call can be made anonymously.


ChildLine has trained counsellors who can help your child to talk about the emotions they may be feeling and which may be their triggers to self-harm. It's a 24/7 service that can be reached on 0800 1111.


YoungMinds, offer information to young people and children about mental health and emotional wellbeing.  Telephone number 0808 802 5544


SupportLine provides a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue. The Helpline is primarily a preventative service and aims to support people before they reach the point of crisis. It is particularly aimed at those who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at risk groups and victims of any form of abuse. Telephone number 01708 765200

Local agencies that may be able to help 

Contact: CAN Young People Team Bedfordshire : 22 Grove Place, Bedford MK40 3JJ : Tel: 01234 344 911

Local leaflet

Self-Harm Leaflet: CAMHS have produced a leaflet about self-harm with information, and coping strategies for those affected. The leaflet is available for reprinting by anyone who wishes to have a copy.