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Feel like hurting yourself?

People might want to hurt themselves on purpose, or ‘self-harm’. If this is happening for you, is there someone you trust that you could talk to? You and your needs matter.

There are different ways to cope and care for yourself

  • Self-care – Try curling up under a weighted blanket and watching your favourite film or hugging a soft toy or pet.
  • Get moving and use your senses – Listen to an upbeat tune,  dance, exercise, or sing
  • Get creative –  Write or scribble, make a journal or do some art or make music
  • Distract – Use a stress ball or try holding a cold stone or a cushion with different textures
  • Relax and soothe – Watch your tummy go in and out as you take deep breaths
  • Try mindfulness activities – Have a look at some techniques here


Read our guide to understanding and coping with self-harm here


How can I get help?

If you need urgent help please make sure you get support right away, and remember to look out for links to local Leeds services that can help with self-harm.

Things you might find useful

Calm Harm

App designed to help manage the urge to self harm. Download the Calm Harm app from App Store / Google Play. Select ‘West Yorkshire’.

Calm Harm

Battle Scars

Battle Scars are based in Leeds and offer peer support to people of all ages and genders and their families including a peer support group for 16-25s.

Order a free ‘discovery journal’ for 10-17 yr olds

Find out more


What is self harm? Plus self harm help



Think about what’s causing you stress right now and how you’re coping.

Play 'stresspot' on MindMate

Why do people self-harm?

People self-harm for many different reasons and you may not fully understand why you want to

  • For some people it is a way to cope with or express overwhelming emotions or relieve tension that’s just too much.
  • Self-harm can also be a way of showing someone how upset you feel.
  • It can be a way of feeling more in control, especially if other parts of your life feel out of control or you’re trapped in a difficult situation.
  • It can be a way of feeling something when you feel numb.

Have you thought about what triggers you to self harm? This might help you think about how to be better prepared for something similar next time.

Remember that moments will pass, and things can change for the better

Try to visualise the thoughts you have as if they are clouds moving in the sky, coming in and letting them pass.

Or you could try visualising your thoughts as if they are waves, letting them wash onto the shore, and wash away again, noticing that they can come and go.

It can help to make a simple drawing of your visualisation, adding words if you want to, or adding some breath work to help focus on the flow of thoughts coming in and out of the body as you visualise.


Are you a parent or carer?

You may  find this guide from University of Oxford useful or the clip below.

If you’re looking for more information to support a young person you care for with their mental health, visit our parent and carers page.