Monthly Archives: January 2015

Supporting Someone Who is Self-Harming

Supporting someone who is self-harming can feel hugely challenging. You will find yourself coming up against your own feelings – anxiety, disgust, helplesness, anger, wanting to withdraw, just to name a few! So it will be important to focus on the person who is suffering and to recognise the self-harm is a product of this suffering (a visible sign of their distress). Initially, make sure they are physically as safe as possible by either getting them the medical care they may need or making sure the cut or burn is clean and bandaged if needed. Then, just try to support that person with your love and understanding: ask them what would help right now? What might have helped them before they felt they had to self-harm? Above all, recognise that you can’t solve whatever is causing them to act in this way. You can encourage them to find the help they need and you can be there for them. But, however much you care, you can’t solve it for them or stop them from self-harming.