What Is Self-Harm?
What Help Is Available?
Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) involves socially unacceptable, self-inflicted harm to one’s body
• Interfering with wound healing (picking or re-opening wounds)
• Punching or hitting oneself or other objects
• Inserting objects into the skin
• Purposely bruising or breaking one’s bones
• Certain forms of hair pulling 2
Although, NSSI is not utilized as a means of ending a life, there is a correlation between the two. In a large study, 70% of adolescents who engaged in NSSI had made at least 1 suicide attempt and 55% made multiple suicide attempts.1
How Many Individuals Struggle?
Each year, 1 in 5 females and 1 in 7 males engage in self-injury. 5
90 percent of people who engage in self-harm begin during their teen or pre-adolescent years.5
12-15 year olds are most susceptible to begin self-harming.6
Adolescents have the highest rate of self-injurious behaviors, with about 17% admitting to self-injury at least once in their life.7
College Students. Studies find that about 15% of college students report engaging in self-harm.7
Aside from very young children, adults are the least likely group of people to follow through with self-injury. Only about 5% of adults have self-injured in their lifetime.7
Nearly 50 percent of those who engage in self-injury activities have been sexually abused.5
Females comprise 60 percent of those who engage in self-injurious behavior.5
Approximately two million cases are reported annually in the U.S.5
Answering The Question, "What Self-Harm Help Is Available For Someone I Care For?"
If you are a Care Worker, wondering how to support someone you love even in the middle of their self-harm - you are not alone. There are dedicated teams who have support options available for you.
Below you will find:
Understanding The Issue Of Self-Harm
“What Is Self-Harm”
Provides a short discussion for parents or concerned adults on the topic of self-harm.
Offers insight into self-injury including what it is, why it happens, Tips on overcoming the urge to self-harm, alternatives, professional outlets, and how support members can help.
5 Not Obvious Signs Of Self Harm
Psych2Go’s YouTube Channel
Helps to identify warning signs.
Teens and Self-Harm, What Do Parents Need To Know?
Youth Worker advice and insight for families.
Finding Help For Kids Who Self-Harm - Wendy Lader, PhD
Kids In The House
PhD professional insight on how to find help for a young person.
Apps Which Offer Support
TalkLife offers online support similar to group therapy. Share anonymously or with your name.
Moodpath offers 14 days of check ins, providing an overview of your emotional well-being. Plus 100+ exercises.
Happify includes games and activities which elevate mood and build resilience through CBT, mindfulness and positivity.
What’s Up aids individuals in discovering the cause of feelings and thoughts though guided questioning.
Self-Help For Anxiety Management (SAM) offers an anxiety toolkit which tracks thoughts and behaviors, while also offering tools to combat negativity.
Panic Relief provides coping strategies, exercise, and breathing techniques to help move through a moment of panic.
PTSD Coach provides ways to understand PTSD along with how to find additional help.
BeyondBlue App provides tools to build and implement a safety plan.
Communities Which Offer Support
To Write Love On Her Arms -
Offers a search for free or low cost therapy options to connect with a therapist.
7 Cups Of Tea -
Offers chat rooms to begin a conversation, plus educational videos and when to seek professional help.
Lifeline Crisis Chat -
Offers free, online chatting with trained individuals.
Love Is Respect -
Offers education, support and advocacy to those facing complicated dating issues, along with a live chat feature connecting you to trained advocates.
Remedy Live -
Offers a faith-based videos on mental health issues along with trained advocates who want to connect.
Anxiety And Depression Association Of America -
Provides a listing of support groups, including a search feature to find a group near you.
Heads Up Guys -
Provides action points and support specifically for men from men.
OK2 Talk -
Offers online support, education, and relatable stories for teens and young adults who battle mental health.
Resources for Parents
The American Depression And Anxiety Association of America has a screening tool for you to use and share with your child’s doctor. It can be found here:
Additionally, the Mayoclinic and CDC have helpful guides which can come along side of you as you find your child the support they might need.
Insight And Perspective Direct From Families
A Parent’s Journey
Offers insight from parents who have had their children share about their self-harm.
CBS News - One Family’s Story
Provides one families story of working through their daughters self-harm habits.
WebMD – One Mother And Daughter’s Story
Provides one mother and daughter’s story of working through their her self-harm habits.
Reasons Why I Self-Harmed
Support For Families
The National Alliance On Mental Illness has a directory of support groups for you and your family.
The Society For Adolescent Heath And Medicine has a comprehensive listing of additional support options.
The Depression And Bipolar Alliance Support Alliance offers connection to local chapters.
Family Caregiver Alliance provides a map of network help in your area.
Responding To A Young Person
20 Things People Who Self-Harm Don’t Want To Hear
One young woman’s perspective of why specific responses were more harmful than helpful.
Responding To Self-Harm
Actor portrayal of helpful responses to self-harm, from actual stories of those who struggle.
Self-Harm & Mental Health Resources For Ministry Leaders
How To Help Teenagers Dealing With Self-Harm & Suicide
Dr. Jamie Dew. Jamie is the Dean of the College at Southeastern
Offers insight into the issue from a faith-based perspective.
Offers insight into self-harm, podcast links for greater understanding, and free eBook resources for those seeking to bring light into a challenging situation.
YM Blog – Scary Stuff: Self-Harm – By Kurt Johnson
How to best respond to a student who confides about their self-harm and how you can be there for them and their parents.
How Does The Gospel Apply To Self-Injury?
Offers a gospel-centric lens in which to find a young person tangible help along with spiritual guidance.
Four Reasons Kids Cut To Cope
Offers insight into why self-injury happens and what our response as should be.
What To Do When A Student Self-Harms – Podcast
Beyond Skin Deep: Responding To Kids Who Cut
Fuller Youth Institute
Self-Harm & Mental Health Resources For Teachers
What to Do When A Student Self-Harms
We Are Teachers
The missing manual for understanding and dealing with students who self-injure.
Educators And Self-Injury
Offers an eBook which hosts templates for protocol your school board can enact, along with how to communicate with parents.
Cornell Research Program: Developing &
Implementing School Protocol
Offers a thorough discussion of why developing protocol for your school is important—along with how to begin.
NASP Center: Understanding And Responding To
Students Who Self-Mutilate
Offers insight into what self-injury is, why it happens, the demographics of students
affected, and insight into resources.
ASCD Helping Self-Harming Students
Provides insight into top reasons why students turn to self-injury along with intervention recommendations.
Study.com: Student Self-Harm: Awareness & Procedures For Teachers
Offers NSSI information and procedures for you and you school system. Members of study.com have access to full article.
Samaritains.org – 1 Hour Classroom Training
Provides teachers and educators a one hour session on self-harm for their students,
including a discussion on myths and facts along with additional tools.
Teachers Pay Teachers
Offers a host of resources produced by teachers, for teachers.
We're Changing It
If someone you care for has faced mental health challenges and you are seeking to be a support for them, the We're Changing It mentorship guide is your step-by-step guide to help them know how to process their story.
We believe in your voice of support in their life - and want to walk with you as you guide them.
Check out a sneak peak below:
Or register for a free sneak peek here:
1. Nock MK, Joiner TE, Jr, Gordon KH, et al. Non-suicidal self-injury among adolescents: diagnostic correlates and relation to suicide attempts. Psychiatry Res. 2006;144(1):65-72.
2. Gluck, S. (2012, August 24). Self Injury, Self Harm Statistics and Facts, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/self-injury/self-injury-self-harm-statistics-and-facts
3. DeAngelis, T. (July/August 2015, Vol 46, No. 7.). Who Self Injures? Retrieved October 23, 2019, from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/07-08/who-self-injures.
4. 6 Reasons Why People Self-Injure. (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2019, from https://www.mentalhelp.net/suicide/6-reasons-why-people-self-injure/.
5. Gluck, S. (2012, August 24). Self Injury, Self Harm Statistics and Facts, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/self-injury/self-injury-self-harm-statistics-and-facts
6. Schreiber, E. (2017, March 30). Self harm is not the only way to cope. Retrieved October 23, 2019, from https://www.rawhide.org/blog/infographics/self-harm/?gclid=Cj0KCQjw0brtBRDOARIsANMDykYO6nUe5Gbx4YFnFy_TGJYz2vooK8QIdZLDLzUd5X0q6yyvPybDjbkaAn7gEALw_wcB.