Self harm

Self harm is when you hurt yourself on purpose or are thinking about hurting yourself. This can include: cutting, burning, bruising and poisoning. It may include self neglect, high risk taking, substance abuse, and eating distress.  People often self harm when life feels too difficult to cope with. You may not understand why you feel the need to self harm, but it can be a way of dealing with intense feelings.

You may be overwhelmed, frustrated, distressed, angry, frustrated or frightened. Self harm is used to respond to the fear or anger they feel; to reduce tension or stress or express their feelings or try and take control back.

You might find it useful to keep a self harm diary or journal to keep track of your thoughts and feelings; how you overcome them and identify triggers or patterns for the future.

Helplines and support for people who self harm

Information and help is available for anyone who self-harms or thinks about self-harm. Their friends, family and carers can also get help from:

Samaritans offer confidential listening either on their 24 hour telephone helpline or face to face without an appointment. Drop in support is available 9am to 9pm.

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind provide have a free telephone helpline for anyone with mental health problems. They have local support groups in Newcastle.

SANEline is a national confidential out of hours telephone helpline that offers information, crisis care and emotional support to anybody affected by mental health problems. Interpreters are available to translate into over 100 languages.

Shout is a 24 hour, 7 days a week text service. It is free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

Mind UK have 2 telephone helplines for anyone experiencing mental health issues.

Patient Information Centre has a series of self help booklets that you can download for free. Visit their website to download their self harm booklet.

Self Injury Support supports people affected by self-injury or self-harm. They offer information, self-help resources, and publication about self injury. You can contact them for support on their free telephone helpline, text message and web chat.

Men’s support

CALM helpline is a free and confidential helpline and web chat service for men who need to talk about their mental health, who are down or have hit a wall for any reason. They also offer information and support. Open 5pm to 12am every day of the year

Young people

Shout text ‘YM’ to 85258. This is a free mental health text messaging service open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Young Minds has mental health information and support for young people, their parents and professionals. They run a Parents telephone helpline, email and webchat service. Read more about what is self harm and 5 ways to help someone who is self harming on their website.

Kooth is an online counselling and mental health service, available everyday. Young people aged 11 to 18 Years can log on to access self-help materials, goal setting and have one-to-one chat sessions with a qualified counsellor 365 days a year.

Apps to help

Calm Harm and DistrACT which provide tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self harm.

Crisis situation

In a Mental Health Crisis such as, an overdose, self harm or if you cannot keep the person safe, call 999. Explain the situation and stay with them until an ambulance arrives.

If the person goes missing, call 999 and ask for the Police.

If the crisis passes, encourage the person to contact their GP urgently, NHS 111 or one of the Helplines listed above.

Local mental health support

Speak to your GP if you are self harming.

Mental Health support services and groups are available in Newcastle and offer ongoing support.

Please note – The content on this website is provided for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you are feeling unwell, make an appointment to see your GP or contact NHS 111. In an emergency dial 999.

Last updated: March 28, 2024