Self-Harming & Suicide Support for Parents2021-03-10T14:25:11+00:00

Helpful Tips & Strategies

Suicide is one of the biggest killers on the planet.

Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people aged 20-34 years in the UK and it is considerably higher in men, with around three times as many men dying as a result of suicide compared to women. It is the leading cause of death for men under 50 in the UK. Looking at a slightly younger age group, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15–29-year-olds.

Suicidal thoughts, or suicidal ideation, means thinking about or planning suicide. Thoughts can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration, but each should be taken just as seriously as the other and requires immediate support.

Their thoughts or ideation can be a response to a situation that might be influencing someone, or it could be a symptom of a long-term condition that needs to be managed.

If you have been thinking about a plan or have a plan in place, or you think someone is in immediate risk, you should call the emergency services immediately on 999. Ideally, you shouldn’t be alone so try to make contact with someone who can be with you while you wait. If you can’t then try the numbers at the bottom of this page.

Samaritans – 24/7

https://www.samaritans.org

116 123

Mind Infoline

Our lines are open 9am to 7pm*, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

0300 123 3393

info@mind.org.uk

Text: 86463

Sane Line

They work with anyone affected by mental illness, including families, friends and carers. Their helpline is open between 4:40pm and 10pm every day of the year. They also provide a free text-based support service called Textcare.  And an online supportive forum community, where anyone can share their experiences of mental health issues.

Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (4:30pm – 10:30pm every evening)

Textcare: www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/textcare

Support Forum: www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/supportforum

Website: www.sane.org.uk

Strategies to Prevent Self-Harming

Try and think about what helps, prevent and stop your child or young person from self-harming behaviour. It might be thinking about things that they do that stop them thinking about it completely.

  • It could be some great personal skills they have and they can think about those things they’re good at as positive self-talk. Maybe make a list of things they do really well
  • How have they coped in the past? Sometimes, in the moment, we use our own abilities to problem solve until we reflect on how we have coped in the past
  • Medication can be helpful if it’s consistent. Have they been consistent? Maybe make a plan to speak to your GP about it if there’s something that doesn’t suit them about the medication. If they haven’t tried medication yet, maybe it’s worth speaking to your GP to explore this option?
  • Focus on their bananas, things that help us feel better like hobbies, physical exercise, speaking to someone or maybe they have learnt other coping strategies that they can use?

When they’re in a good place, try to think about what typically triggers them. These could be social, psychological or emotional like bullying, dealing with loss of a family member, on-going depression/anxiety – what situations could make them vulnerable and could they ask for support with these? Who can they go to?

Also, be familiar with local and national resources, websites etc. which we have detailed at the bottom of this page…

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Support if you feel like self-harming

There are ways to guide yourself away from self-harm that you can do and focus on by yourself, but it would be best to seek professional help and work through these strategies with someone you trust.

  • Talk regularly and openly to someone you feel comfortable with – discuss with them that you’re trying to delay your self-harm
  • Give yourself an aim – ‘I am going to wait 10 minutes before I self-harm’ – increase this delay over a period of time to challenge yourself.
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Tips for Safe Self-Harm

It can take some time to get to a point where they are no longer self-harming or experiencing the urge to. It’s important not to stop immediately, it may bring in different, more unhealthy or unhelpful coping strategies. If they are going to self-harm while they’re beginning to manage the feelings and implement their strategies, you must make sure they’re keeping as safe as possible.

  • Do not share self-harming implements with others because of the risk of infection and illness like hepatitis B, C and HIV and AIDS
  • Don’t self-harm in areas where there are already scars, as scar tissue isn’t as strong as your skin
  • Avoid situations with drugs and alcohol as this affects thinking and decision making, potentially leading to unsafe self-harm
  • Keep first aid supplies such as antiseptic wipes and bandages to hand, in date and enough of them
  • Have an emergency plan – like keeping a phone nearby so that they can contact others if they need help, or only do it with others around or in the house
  • Set limits and try to stick to them – such as deciding how many cuts they will make, how big etc.
  • Think of alternatives to breaking the skin, swallowing medication or any other substances

Tips to Manage Feelings

How they might be feeling right now doesn’t have to be how they feel in the future. We know that when you’re in it, it can feel like it will never end. It will. There will be a time before when they didn’t feel this way and we can work towards getting back there.

Some things to try in the meantime if you or they begin feeling overwhelmed by it all.

  • Talk to someone you trust!
  • Write down how you feel – then rip it up
  • Maybe keep a journal
  • Punch something soft that won’t feel anything…like a pillow
  • Physical exercise – this could range from a huge gym workout to a walk
  • Squeeze an ice cube – make sure you always have some in your freezer just in case!
  • Snap elastic bands on your wrist
  • Draw lines using a red pen on your wrists

Support Lines

If you have been thinking about a plan or have a plan in place, or you think someone is in immediate risk, you should call the emergency services immediately on 999. Ideally, you shouldn’t be alone so try to make contact with someone who can be with you while you wait. If you can’t then try the numbers at the bottom of this page.

Samaritans – 24/7

https://www.samaritans.org

116 123

Mind Infoline

Our lines are open 9am to 7pm*, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

0300 123 3393

info@mind.org.uk

Text: 86463

Sane Line

They work with anyone affected by mental illness, including families, friends and carers. Their helpline is open between 4:40pm and 10pm every day of the year. They also provide a free text-based support service called Textcare.  And an online supportive forum community, where anyone can share their experiences of mental health issues.

Telephone: 0300 304 7000 (4:30pm – 10:30pm every evening)

Textcare: www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/textcare

Support Forum: www.sane.org.uk/what_we_do/support/supportforum

Website: www.sane.org.uk

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Email usinfo@arthurellismhs.com

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