Understanding Self-Harm

TRIGGER WARNING: Please be aware that this video discusses self-harm, including personal experiences of self-harm.

The charity Nip in the Bud works with mental health professionals to produce short films and fact sheets to help parents, primary school teachers and others caring for and working with children to recognise potential mental health conditions. Their goal is to increase the prospects of early intervention and to reduce the risks of those conditions becoming more serious in later years.

Self-harm is when you hurt yourself as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, painful memories or overwhelming situations and experiences. It can be the acute reaction people turn to when they feel they have no other option.

Self-harm affects more people than you might think. It is estimated that between 10%-20% of all people self-harm at some point during their lifetime. It is hard to gather exact figures due to the stigma surrounding self-harm, and because people try to hide their wounds, scars and bruises.

The average age of the first incident of self-harm is around 12/13, though the rate of self-harm among younger children (aged 9-12) in the UK has increased in the last ten years.

To understand more about Self-Harm in children, watch this 8-minute film and download the Nip in the Bud fact sheet.

For information on how to access help and support, go to the Nip in the Bud ‘Where to go for help page’.

Understanding Self Harm.mp4 from Nip In The Bud on Vimeo.

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