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To Sam

Self Harm, I want to stop

i self harm and have done for months i just want to stop but i dont know how. my mum doesnt know and im scared to tell her and i dont want to tell a teacher incase they ring my mum. i dont know where to get support from i know its bad for me but i see no other way in dealing with what i feel. please help

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Self-harm is when someone hurts themselves on purpose. There are lots of reasons why people self-harm and sometimes it’s a way of trying to cope with difficult or painful feelings. Remember that there are ways to cope and support to stop is available.

Asking for help is a big step forward in stopping harming yourself. It might feel scary but there’s lots of information about moving on from self-harm to help you to take the next steps.

If you’re feeling stuck for ideas maybe it’s time to look at new ways to cope. We’re all different so you may need to try a few things to find what works for you. This can take time and you might need to keep practising, so don’t give up. Remember that any length of time without harming is a success, so reward yourself each time you manage a few hours, a day or a week.

Try talking to an adult you trust. Or speak to our Childline counsellors who are there to listen and support you so that you don’t keep things bottled up. Childline won’t tell anyone else what you say unless someone’s life is in danger. You can find out more about our confidentiality promise before you chat.

You can also talk to a teacher about self-harm. They may need to speak to your parent or carer to keep you safe but they should always tell you what information they need to share. You could ask what extra support you can get too, like from a mentor, counsellor or school nurse.

You might feel scared of a parent finding out because of how they might react or if you don’t want to hurt or disappoint them. Try showing them information about self-harm so they understand more about it and how they can help you. It can help to find a quiet time to talk and let them know that it’s important and you want them to listen. If it’s hard to talk face to face you could write what you want to say in a letter.

Remember, more support is available on the Message Boards where young people share what has worked for them and support each other.

Take care and thank you for your letter,


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