We can’t be there in person to help and support you in a moment of crisis, but there are other options available to you if you can’t turn to someone you trust. By giving us your postcode (or one nearby to where you are right now) we can let you know about services in your area. Remember: this moment will pass; you won’t always feel the way you do right now.
If in doubt always call 999.
You can also sign up to Alumina, our online support for mental health and wellbeing here:
It's the start of a new year. Some of us love a fresh start and a clean slate, and we can feel like we have a shot at it when a new year (let alone a new decade) starts. But maybe it feels for you as if nothing has really changed. You're stuck in the same place with the same problems.
But maybe this year could be a time to reach out from some help from new places.
If you've not tried out Alumina before, why not try it out in 2020?
Alumina groups run online in the evenings. You log in to a kind of chat room where we can't see or hear you but you can see and hear us - real, adult humans who are here to listen and support you. You can type in the chatbox or just sit and listen. Either way, people tell us it helps them to feel less alone. There are usually between 2 and 6 young young people in each session.
We talk about some big questions - why do we self-harm, why is it so addictive, will it always be something I do, who can I talk to, are there any alternatives that work - but we never tell you what to do. Alumina is a safe space, a non-judgemental space, and a place where you can think about what it might take for you to move towards recovery.
We'd love to give you some extra support, and help you to feel less alone. Why don't you have a go?
We have new groups starting up with week, but you can join them anytime in January. Just sign up here. (Don't worry, when you sign up you're not totally committing yourself to Alumina - it just means we can start an email conversation with you).
Welcome to our brand-new website! We are so excited to be sharing with you all the weeks and months of work we have been doing to try and get this right. The first thing that you may notice is that we now have three very specific areas for the main people that visit our site. This is so you can feel totally at home sharing any stories or questions you have, knowing that parents and professionals won’t see it. Please be aware if we are really worried about you we may need to pass this information on.
To post content and to see what other people have posted you must be logged in, you can do this by clicking the register button and filling in the form that follows.
Please give us honest information, we may need this in the future to help keep you safe.
We want you to feel at home here, we want to try and help you build a safe online community that helps you begin to share how you are feeling about your self-harm and meet other people who can help you in this journey. Sometimes we will comment on your posts, but overall, we want you to have the space to help and support each other where you can.
The site is broken down into different places for you to get the help and support you need we have our main chat space where you can upload appropriate pictures, questions and tell us your story. When you post on that page you get to choose your colour background, your font and picture so it feels more personal to you.
We want you to feel supported in your times of crisis and have somewhere to take your concerns and fears when you feel lost and alone. This main chat forum and space is for you to help and support one another. This will be monitored, please remember we are all about pro-recovery here so be sensitive and supportive to everyone needs.
We will also be hosting live chat sessions where we will look at a whole series of topics from anxiety to LGBTQ+ to depression and many more. These sessions will start on the 1st November 2017 at 7pm. They will run for approximately 30-40 minutes and will be held once a week on a Wednesday evening. These are completely informal and will be hosted in a chat room format. We would love you to come along when you can. You can find the links to these chat rooms and a little bit about what we will be discussing that week under the help button on the main page of our website.
Finally, when you are ready we have our weekly support group called Alumina, you can find information about this and sign up under the Alumina tab in the main menu. This is a more intentional form of support and we would love to welcome you when you feel ready.
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try and see if we can help. We really want you to feel supported in this journey and have the space to share your experience. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and like us on Facebook.
The SelfharmUK Team x
Jo Introduces us to the programme and what to expect over the summer.
Oliver shares with us what feeling overwhelmed is like for them.
Some days, just even opening my eyes feels hard. I lay there arguing with myself in my head: whether to try and sleep the whole day; or whether to try and talk myself into facing the day…
Then comes the endless interactions with others:
“did you sleep ok?”
“how are you doing today?”
“can you make sure you eat breakfast please?”
“got any plans for today?”
“what about your future – we need to get your college sorted?”
then I go upstairs to get dressed:
what to wear today, nothing feels ‘right’ or comfortable, nothing feels ‘me’ – how do I cover the scars? Then I feel angry – why should I cover the scars? But I don’t feel brave enough not to. I feel so angry with myself for cutting, I hate that I did it but now I feel proud of myself for stopping, but sad that I did it…
I think I will just stay in my pjs today – getting dressed feels too much, too hard, too many decisions to make.
I sit watching TV, just trying to ignore the world and it’s many demands of me: from what I think of anything and everything (I am supposed to have an opinion on politics, my education, best films, worst band, foods I like…the list is endless). I like TV, I can get lost in not having to think or even follow what’s happening too much; my mind can flit in and out without demands or questions.
I am falling asleep when my phone goes: a text. Great – another distraction and prompt to enter someone else’s world.
This time it’s different: someone is entering my world.
“ Hi love, just want to say – I love you. I know you are finding things hard and I may not help in the best way, but I want to help. Let me know how I can.”
I sit and think. Help: I am being offered it but I don’t even know what I need.
I reply: “Mum, I don’t know what I need. I am very unhappy but I don’t know why.”
Mum: “it’s ok to be unhappy and not know why. It’s ok to be happy and not know why. All you need to know is that you are loved, feeling like this won’t last forever, and no matter what, we will be with you, however long it takes”.
I fly downstairs and run to my mum, sitting in the sofa. I climb on her lap and am engulfed in her hug. I am safe (even when I don’t feel safe), I am loved (even when I don’t feel loved), I will get better (even when I can’t remember the last good day I had), my mum might annoy me and ask loads of questions but she actually wants to help.
When it all feels too much: I know this, I am not on my own.
I have found someone who wants to know me even when it feels too much.
It might not be your mum who texts you, it might be that you have to text someone a sad face to let them know you aren’t doing well.
I used to expect people to know that something wasn’t going well without me having to tell them, but now I realise, it’s up to me to ask for help: I can’t expect people to guess.
I am glad my mum text me, I know other people don’t have that. I hope you can find someone today to help you if you are feeling like this – it might be a friend, a counsellor, a youth worker or even the Samaritans – you can call them free or text them 116 123 (I have called them a few times and they were really helpful and kind and didn’t judge me at all).
SelfharmUK run Alumina which is an online support session for young people struggling with self-harm: it’s open to all, it’s confidential, very relaxed and run by professionals so is completely safe for you.