Young people and self harm

Self Help Coping Strategies


Keep a diary to express yourself and explore some of

the thoughts and feelings that you have. Having a

place where you can practise putting your experiences

into words can be really helpful. It can also be useful to

monitor any patterns in your thoughts and feelings, and

the relationship between these and when you feel like

self harming. Developing an understanding of these

patterns will help you to take control in future.

Talk To Someone

Being able to speak to someone about your feelings

can help in a number of ways: expressing yourself

may reduce the strong feelings and it may also

enable you to get some care and support. You

might feel able to talk to a friend or family member,

or speaking anonymously to a helpline may feel a

better option. Try and make a start by thinking of

someone that you might feel safe to talk to, or who

may be able to help you.

Try the 10 MINUTE RULE

This can be a really useful technique. If you feel like

self harming, and the urge is getting stronger, try to

postpone self harming for ten minutes (or a different

length of time if this feels too long). Telling yourself

NOT to do it may make the urge stronger, but

‘postponing’ harming may feel manageable. If after

10 minutes you still feel like self harming you can still

turn to this, or again you can postpone it for a further

10 minutes. Continue this as long as is necessary.

For many people self harm happens when emotions

are at their most intense, in waiting for 10 minutes, this

intensity can start to fade and the urge may go away

or lessen. During the 10 minutes, make yourself busy

– try some of the following distraction techniques.

Long term help and support

There are many places that can help you overcome

your difficulties longer term, it might be that talking

to someone for support over a period of time might

be more helpful.


Your GP may be able to offer support for your self

harm, and make referrals to other services. If you

have a good relationship with your GP then this might

be a good place to start.

Mental Health Team

A mental health team may assign you a social worker

or psychiatric nurse to help you with your difficulties.

Referrals are usually taken from your GP.

Counselling Service

There may be a counselling service in your local area.

Counsellors will help you to work on your difficulties,

and provide you a safe space to talk about things

and learn new coping strategies.

There may also be a counsellor attached to your GP

surgery – give them a call to find out, or look in the

yellow pages or on the net for services in your area.


There are different forms of psychotherapy, and

psychotherapists that will be able to help you. Usually

you have to speak to your GP first, but they may be

able to offer you help over a longer period of time.

Therapists will help by working in a similar way to

a counsellor, and help you to look at why you self

harm, and move towards alternative ways of coping

with your feelings.


PO Box 9235, Nottingham NG8 9FB

Distraction Techniques

If you are feeling:


• hit a pillow

• put on loud music and sing/shout

• do physical activity to get rid of some of the energy

(such as running, stamping around)

• write down why you are feeling that way and tear it up

• use lavender oil (in a bath or on your pillow)

• clean/tidy

Dissociated/Spaced out

• stamp your feet on the ground, feel the difference

between hard and soft ground beneath your feet

• Have a hot bath

• Concentrate on your surroundings – describe

what you can see and hear around you. Use essential

oils (smells) and sounds to focus you

• Touch things hot and cold, smooth and rough

Inner Pain/Sadness/Loneliness

• Talk to someone - call a friend or a helpline

• Make yourself feel comfortable (use pillows and

blankets to comfort you physically)

• Make yourself a hot drink or your favourite food

• Look at photographs of people you love

• Go to a favourite place (attached to a positive or

happy memory)

Out of Control/Panicked

• Concentrate on a simple task

• Write an action plan of things you’d like to achieve and

the steps you can take to achieve this

• Gardening and cleaning

• Take a walk from where you are to a specific place;

take your time and concentrate on your footsteps, and

try to slow your breathin

Contact Us

New Park Academy
Waterslea, Off Green Lane, Eccles, Manchester, M30 0RW (SAT NAV M30 0SR)

New Park Academy Juniors - Walnut Road, Winton, Manchester, M30 8LE (SAT NAV M30 8LB)

0161 921 2000
0161 921 2030

Almut Bever-Warren - Headteacher

Philippa Peploe - SENCO

Chair - New Park Academy Advisory Board
Yvonne Luckin - c/o

New Park Academy, Green Lane, Patricroft, Manchester, M30 9RW

Tel:0161 921 2000