What is it?

Self harm is when someone purposely hurts a part of their body. Some common forms of self-harm are cutting, burning, and picking at wounds or scars. Taking too much medication, drugs or alcohol are also types of self harm.

It is really important to get help as soon as problems start. Talking about self harm with someone you trust, like a close family member, friend or teacher, is a good first step.


What will my GP do now?

It’s not easy to talk about self harm, but your GP is here to help. Your GP will continue to talk to you about your feelings and the reasons for the self harm.

Your GP will also:

  • Work out the best treatment for you - which could be counselling, medication, support services or a combination of the three
  • Give you a list of services that will help to support you
  • Give advice to your friends or family - but only with your consent
  • Help you make a safety plan - a safety plan is a series of steps to help you keep safe if you are at risk of self harm in the future

Your GP will always work with you to ensure your safety.


What will my GP do in the future?

Your GP will want to see you in the next 1-2 days to continue these discussions and give you supports. You will also need to see your GP regularly to talk about how you’re feeling. If your treatment is helping you feel better, you may need to see your GP less often.


What can I do?

Continue to talk to your GP and other health professionals. Try to be as honest as possible with yourself about how you are feeling and what is causing you to feel this way.

Remember, there is no judgement, only support. Make a safety plan, and keep it with you. Your safety plan will remind you what to do when you’re feeling down. You can use the Keep-Safe Card on this factsheet - cut it out, and keep in your wallet.

For many people, counselling can make a big difference. Consider talking to your GP about a referral to a counselling service. Also, try to stay active and social.

Consider the activities you enjoy, or once enjoyed. Keep in mind that drugs and alcohol can make you feel worse. Try and reduce these as much as you can.

Accept support, and let others help you.