There are a lot of myths and false beliefs around self harm that can stop people reaching out for support. Not everyone who self-harms has the same experience, but often it is a way to cope with severe and real emotional pain, so your friend may need your support now more than ever.
- If someone opens up to you about self-harm, try not to panic or show judgement. It can be a hard thing to talk about, and your reaction might have an impact on their willingness to talk about it in future.
- Listen to what they’re saying and let them know you’re there for them
- If they’re open to it, talk to them about the feelings that are driving the self harm, and if it feels appropriate, encourage them to seek help.
- Self-harm is not the same as attempted suicide, but someone who is self-harming is at increased risk of suicide - the only way to know is to ask.
If you want to find out more, you can read Mind’s information on self harm.