Navigation Menu Icon

Self-harm or harm to self

Self-harm is an expression of personal distress, not a mental illness in itself. There are many reasons why children and young people may self-harm; it may be due to an underlying mental health problem, stress at home or school or they may have experienced some form of trauma such as bullying or abuse.

More about self-harm or harm to self

For some young people, self-harm is linked to specific experiences and is a way of dealing with something that is either happening now or which happened in the past. For others, the reasons are less clear and can be harder to make sense of.

There are many ways people can self-harm and they vary from making cuts on their bodies, taking overdoses of medication or putting themselves in risky situations. Not all self-harm is linked to thoughts of suicide, but young people who do self-harm are at greater risk of suicide, so it is important that properly trained mental health professionals assess the risk of this.

Around 10-30% of teenagers will self-harm at some point during their life. With the right help and support to reduce underlying stresses and treat mental health problems, young people can be helped to stop self-harming.

App-icon.png

Useful apps

  • Calm Harm provides tasks to help children and young people resist or manage the urge to self-harm.
  • BlueIce is an evidenced-based app to help young people manage their emotions and reduce urges to self-harm. It includes a mood diary, a toolbox of evidence-based techniques to reduce distress and automatic routing to emergency numbers if urges to harm continue. 

Book-icon.png

Books

Eresource icon.png e-Resources

Helpful information, guides, tools and classroom resources for education professionals

Mental Health First Aid England - Downloadable resources/leaflets, single page PDF posters that school can use and videos for training.

Young Minds - Training courses, free downloadable booklets/leaflets and posters/resources/materials/lesson plans for teachers and school staff – also available to order at a cost.

Royal College of Psychiatrists - Online advice, guidance and downloadable factsheets for staff, parents and CYP to use (good for parents’ evenings) with leaflets available to order at a cost.

MIND - Information booklets and leaflets.

MindEd - MindEd is a free educational resource on children and young people's mental health for all adults.

Psychology Services Limited - Free online resources and videos (registration is required).

The Mix - Information for professionals and CYP about a variety of MH issues.

Lancashire Safeguarding Children’s Board - Infographics on a variety of topics.

Playfield Institute - Hands On - Help and practical advice for supporting children and young people's mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Self-help material to recommend to children, young people and families/carers

NHS Northumberland, Tyne & Wear - Self-help leaflets.

Psychology Tools - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Worksheets, Handouts, And Self-Help Resources.

onyourmindglos - Helpful guides about emotional health.

HeadMeds - Gives general information about medication. HeadMeds does not give medical advice. 

Online places to signpost children, young people and families/carers to for further help

Kooth - Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people, accredited counsellors for mental health needs.

Childline - Information and advice.

Self Harm UK - "Alumina" is free and is run by SelfharmUK for young people aged 14 and above. It is an online programme that is run a couple of nights a week by trained counsellors; it’s a safe place to explore how you are doing, what your struggles are and receive support for your harming behaviour. It’s done in a chat room style so that no –one can see you, it’s confidential (you can use a different name) and young people can only chat to each other in the ‘public’ forums, so you feel safer.

Stemming Teenage Mental Illness - Advice and guidance.

Achieve Change and Engagement (A.C.E.) - Resources to help improve emotional health and wellbeing.

Self-harm awareness for all (SAFA) - Advice, support, counselling and training. Based in Barrow-in-Furness.

Young Addaction - Substance misuse service for under 25s including a mind and body programme. Young Addaction supports young people to understand the effects of their substance misuse and helps them to make informed choices.

National Self Harm Network - Online support forum.

Training icon (2).png Training 

Blackburn with Darwen

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Helen Capstick

Chorley and South Ribble

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Michelle Taylor

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training - for professionals working with children and young people aged 8-18. Focused on prevention, signposting and early recognition. 2-day and 1-day courses. Find out when your Primary Mental Health.
  • Positive Action in the Community are commissioned by Lancashire County Council to deliver and facilitate free YMHFA training across Lancashire (2-day and 1-day courses).
  • Bespoke training around self-harm can be provided by your Primary Mental Healther Worker upon request.
  • Self-harm training is provided by the Lancashire Emotional Health in Schools Service. The training will be led by Dr. Richard Slinger, LEHSS Service Lead and his team within Lancaster University. These sessions are aimed at primary and secondary school, college staff, especially SENCOs, pastoral leads, mentors, or any other staff with specific responsibility for pupils’ emotional health. It is particularly relevant for schools developing a ‘Designated Lead for Mental Health’ role. Limited free places are available to staff employed by a primary, secondary or college within the Lancashire County Council area. For more information visit the lehss website.
  • Lancashire Mind offer a half day workshop on ‘Understanding Self-harm’. Find out more information
  • Lancashire Mind run Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) as a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don't need any formal training to attend the workshop - anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model. You can enquire about the availability or request more information by emailing admin@lancashiremind.org.uk.
  • MIND offer training on a variety of topics. Check their website for which courses are currently running.
  • MindEd provides online training in emotional and behavioural ‘first aid’ and essential therapeutic skills for all those involved in the mental wellbeing and care of children and young people in the UK. Check their website for which courses are currently running.

Fylde and Wyre

Your Primary Mental Health Workers: Liz Loftus, Joanne Collins (Wyre) and Lucy Fenucciu (Fylde).

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training - for professionals working with children and young people aged 8-18. Focused on prevention, signposting and early recognition. 2-day and 1-day courses. Find out when your Primary Mental Health.
  • Positive Action in the Community are commissioned by Lancashire County Council to deliver and facilitate free YMHFA training across Lancashire (2-day and 1-day courses).
  • Self-harm training is provided by the Lancashire Emotional Health in Schools Service. The training will be led by Dr. Richard Slinger, LEHSS Service Lead and his team within Lancaster University. These sessions are aimed at primary and secondary school, college staff, especially SENCOs, pastoral leads, mentors, or any other staff with specific responsibility for pupils’ emotional health. It is particularly relevant for schools developing a ‘Designated Lead for Mental Health’ role. Limited free places are available to staff employed by a primary, secondary or college within the Lancashire County Council area. For more information visit the lehss website.
  • Lancashire Mind offer a half day workshop on ‘Understanding Self-harm’. Find out more information.
  • Lancashire Mind run Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) as a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don't need any formal training to attend the workshop - anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model. You can enquire about the availability or request more information by emailing admin@lancashiremind.org.uk.
  • Harm Ed.
  • MIND offer training on a variety of topics. Check their website for which courses are currently running.
  • MindEd provides online training in emotional and behavioural ‘first aid’ and essential therapeutic skills for all those involved in the mental wellbeing and care of children and young people in the UK. Check their website for which courses are currently running.

North Lancashire

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Wendy Hart

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training - for professionals working with children and young people aged 8-18. Focused on prevention, signposting and early recognition. 2-day and 1-day courses. Find out when your Primary Mental Health.
  • Positive Action in the Community are commissioned by Lancashire County Council to deliver and facilitate free YMHFA training across Lancashire (2-day and 1-day courses).
  • Self-harm training is provided by the Lancashire Emotional Health in Schools Service. The training will be led by Dr. Richard Slinger, LEHSS Service Lead and his team within Lancaster University. These sessions are aimed at primary and secondary school, college staff, especially SENCOs, pastoral leads, mentors, or any other staff with specific responsibility for pupils’ emotional health. It is particularly relevant for schools developing a ‘Designated Lead for Mental Health’ role. Limited free places are available to staff employed by a primary, secondary or college within the Lancashire County Council area. For more information visit the lehss website.
  • Lancashire Mind offer a half-day workshop on ‘Understanding Self-harm’. Find out more information.
  • Lancashire Mind run Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) as a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don't need any formal training to attend the workshop - anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model. You can enquire about the availability or request more information by emailing admin@lancashiremind.org.uk
  • Self-harm Awareness For All - SAFA.
  • Harm-Ed.
  • MIND offer training on a variety of topics. Check their website for which courses are currently running.
  • MindEd provides online training in emotional and behavioural ‘first aid’ and essential therapeutic skills for all those involved in the mental wellbeing and care of children and young people in the UK. Check their website for which courses are currently running.

West Lancashire

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Dawn Meakin

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training - for professionals working with children and young people aged 8-18. Focused on prevention, signposting and early recognition. 2-day and 1-day courses. Find out when your Primary Mental Health.
  • Positive Action in the Community are commissioned by Lancashire County Council to deliver and facilitate free YMHFA training across Lancashire (2-day and 1-day courses).
  • Bespoke training around self-harm can be provided by your Primary Mental Health Worker upon request.
  • Self-harm training is provided by the Lancashire Emotional Health in Schools Service. The training will be led by Dr. Richard Slinger, LEHSS Service Lead and his team within Lancaster University. These sessions are aimed at primary and secondary school, college staff, especially SENCOs, pastoral leads, mentors, or any other staff with specific responsibility for pupils’ emotional health. It is particularly relevant for schools developing a ‘Designated Lead for Mental Health’ role. Limited free places are available to staff employed by a primary, secondary or college within the Lancashire County Council area. For more information visit the lehss website.
  • Lancashire Mind offer a half day workshop on ‘Understanding Self-harm’. Find out more information
  • Lancashire Mind run Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) as a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don't need any formal training to attend the workshop - anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model. You can enquire about the availability or request more information by emailing admin@lancashiremind.org.uk.
  • MIND offer training on a variety of topics. Check their website for which courses are currently running.
  • MindEd provides online training in emotional and behavioural ‘first aid’ and essential therapeutic skills for all those involved in the mental wellbeing and care of children and young people in the UK. Check their website for which courses are currently running.

Information-guidance-icon.png Other guidance

Blackpool

Your Primary Mental Health Workers: Helen SmithBethanne Bullion and Stephanie Rowe

East Lancashire

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Aliki Mavraki

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training - for professionals working with children and young people aged 8-18. Focused on prevention, signposting and early recognition. 2-day and 1-day courses. Find out when your Primary Mental Health.
  • Positive Action in the Community are commissioned by Lancashire County Council to deliver and facilitate free YMHFA training across Lancashire (2-day and 1-day courses).
  • Bespoke training around self-harm can be provided by your Primary Mental Health Worker upon request.
  • Self-harm training is provided by the Lancashire Emotional Health in Schools Service. The training will be led by Dr. Richard Slinger, LEHSS Service Lead and his team within Lancaster University. These sessions are aimed at primary and secondary school, college staff, especially SENCOs, pastoral leads, mentors, or any other staff with specific responsibility for pupils’ emotional health. It is particularly relevant for schools developing a ‘Designated Lead for Mental Health’ role. Limited free places are available to staff employed by a primary, secondary or college within the Lancashire County Council area. For more information visit www.lehss.com.
  • Lancashire Mind offer a half day workshop on ‘Understanding Self-harm’. Find out more information
  • Lancashire Mind run Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) as a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don't need any formal training to attend the workshop - anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model. You can enquire about the availability or request more information by emailing admin@lancashiremind.org.uk.
  • MIND offer training on a variety of topics. Check their website for which courses are currently running.
  • MindEd provides online training in emotional and behavioural ‘first aid’ and essential therapeutic skills for all those involved in the mental wellbeing and care of children and young people in the UK. Check their website for which courses are currently running.

Greater Preston

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Shamaila Iqbal

  • Your local PMHW offers a training course on Children and Young People's Self-harm and Minimisation (procedure to access appropriate support) - 2 hours.
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training - for professionals working with children and young people aged 8-18. Focused on prevention, signposting and early recognition. 2-day and 1-day courses. Find out when your Primary Mental Health.
  • Positive Action in the Community are commissioned by Lancashire County Council to deliver and facilitate free YMHFA training across Lancashire (2-day and 1-day courses).
  • Self-harm v Harmful Behaviour – delivered by your Primary Mental Health Worker for free and open to all school staff.
  • Self-harm training is provided by the Lancashire Emotional Health in Schools Service. The training will be led by Dr. Richard Slinger, LEHSS Service Lead and his team within Lancaster University. These sessions are aimed at primary and secondary school, college staff, especially SENCOs, pastoral leads, mentors, or any other staff with specific responsibility for pupils’ emotional health. It is particularly relevant for schools developing a ‘Designated Lead for Mental Health’ role. Limited free places are available to staff employed by a primary, secondary or college within the Lancashire County Council area. For more information visit the lehss website.
  • Lancashire Mind offer a half day workshop on ‘Understanding Self-harm’. Find out more information
  • Lancashire Mind run Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) as a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognise when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don't need any formal training to attend the workshop - anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model. You can enquire about the availability or request more information by emailing admin@lancashiremind.org.uk.
  • MIND offer training on a variety of topics. Check their website for which courses are currently running.
  • MindEd provides online training in emotional and behavioural ‘first aid’ and essential therapeutic skills for all those involved in the mental wellbeing and care of children and young people in the UK. Check their website for which courses are currently running.

South Cumbria

Your Primary Mental Health Worker: Nikki Swan


Help-advice-icon.png Further help or advice

If you cannot find the help or advice you are searching for or you need other support for a child or young person, please contact your local Primary Mental Health Worker. Their names and email addresses can be found by clicking on the relevant geographical area of the 'Training' section above.

Hide this section
Show accessibility tools