Self-harm (or non-suicidal self-injury) comes in many forms and can be damaging to a person’s physical and mental health. There are many reasons people engage in self-harm, but it is most often used as a way of coping with difficult emotions. Self-harm is not just attention seeking, although people do use it as a way of letting others know they are not coping.
Self-harm refers to a range of behaviours, not a mental disorder or illness, although it can be a sign of an emerging mental illness such as anxiety or depression.
Frequent, unexplained injuries of the types described above, may indicate that self-harm has been occurring. However, some people will go to great lengths to conceal their injuries, and it might be hard to pick up on some of these signs.
Evidence from Australian studies suggest that 6-7% of Australian youth aged 15-24 years engage self-harm in any 12 month period. Lifetime prevalence rates are higher. (Headspace)
If you are in need of urgent support or if you have any thoughts of hurting yourself, you can contact a number of different 24 hour mental health services for immediate support:
|Mental Health Services||Phone|
|Emergency Services (24 hours)||000|
|Lifeline (24 hours)||13 11 14|
|Kids Helpline – for 25 years and younger (24 hours)||1800 551 800|
|Contact your local doctor or hospital|