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To Sam

self harm. worried

I used to self harm but my friends found out and made me promise I wouldn't do it again. I haven't but I'm going through a bad time at the moment and I've recently started to self harm again. Should I tell someone ? I don't want to tell my mum because she'll get worried and over protective. I should I tell a teacher I'm close with ? If so how would I tell her without get angry or upset ?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Many people self-harm to help them cope with problems and issues that are going on in their life. It can be difficult for someone who has used self-harming as a way of coping to stop without finding another alternative way of coping. One way of managing this is to try and find another coping technique to use instead of self-harming. 

Some people try writing a diary of their feelings and thoughts, drawing, or doing exercise to help them to cope and to take their mind off the urge to self-harm. We have a page of self-harming coping techniques which you might find useful.

It’s important to keep safe when you self-harm. If you are ever worried about your self-harming for any reason, it’s okay to get help by speaking to an adult you trust or by phoning 999 for an ambulance in an emergency.

Telling someone that you are self-harming can be a difficult thing to do because of wondering how they will react. It’s important to know that telling someone is a decision that you can make when you feel you are ready. If you tell a teacher you get on with at school, you need to be aware that it’s possible that school will contact your family to let them know about it. This is because school have a duty of care to keep you safe. It might be good to check out the school’s confidentiality policy in advance so that you can decide whether to tell them about your self-harming or not.

If you do decide to speak about self-harming with your teacher or anyone else, you can either speak to them face to face or you could write down what you want to say in a letter for them to read. This means that you can prepare in advance and make sure that you include everything you want to say without getting angry or upset. Your teacher will want to talk things through with you after the letter has been read, so you will also need to be prepared to have a talk with them too.

You have mentioned that you are going through a bad time at the moment and if you would like to talk more about this or about self-harming, you could talk to a counsellor at ChildLine for support.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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