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To Sam

Self-harming

You probably get a load of letters/emails about self-harming, but I really need some advice. I always feel alone, emotional and scared. I lost my brother through suicide a year ago, and it really hit me hard. I promised I would never do what he did, but I just always feel the urge, please help?
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help and you did the right thing to write in. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. It sounds like it’s been a really difficult time for you. It’s very natural that you are still struggling. Losing someone to suicide can bring up a lot of difficult and intense feelings and it can be hard to know how to deal with them all.

Some people self-harm or hurt themselves as a way of expressing how they feel, especially when they find it hard to talk about their feelings. Building up enough trust with someone to tell them how you feel can be hard, but it is possible. You've asked for help and this shows that you know you need some support right now. I’m really glad you got in touch with me. There are lots of people out there who can help you stop self-harming and find different ways to cope with how you’re feeling.

Have you considered talking to anyone in your family about how you feel? You said you promised you wouldn’t do what your brother did and that made me wonder who you made that promise to. It’s okay to admit you are struggling, especially when you are trying to deal with something as difficult as this. If you don’t feel you can talk to anyone in your family right now, do you think you could maybe tell someone else how you feel? Maybe a teacher or school counsellor, for example?

You can find more information about where you can get help with self-harm in Explore, as well as at www.youngminds.org.uk. Another site you might find useful is www.uk-sobs.org.uk, which has specific information and support on how you can deal with losing someone through suicide.

There is help out there for you and ChildLine is always here for you too. You can speak to a ChildLine counsellor through an email, 1-2-1 chat or over the phone by calling 0800 1111. You don’t have to go through this all on your own and we are more than happy to talk about your options with you.

Take care

Sam

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