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How to Help a Friend Who Self-Harms

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Plan to talk to your friend in a quiet space away from interruptions.

Tell your friend what you have seen and that you would like to help. Tell them in a quiet, caring and straightforward way.

Give them time to talk and encourage them to put their feelings into words - do not interrupt and accept their answers in a non-judgmental way.  If they insist there is no problem, tell them that you hope they are right and that there is really no problem; but say you are worried by what you have seen and heard.

Give them information as to where they can go for help - leaflets or brochures that you can leave with them if possible.

Ask them to have just one appointment with a doctor or counsellor; and offer to go with them and wait while they have it.

 If you think the self-harm is dangerous or life threatening, please make sure you enlist the help of a professional before you intervene.

If your help is refused accept you have done all you can for now but that you may have planted the seed of future change.

Be safe - contact SAFA: 01229 841372. DO NOT COLLUDE WITH THE ILLNESS BY PROMISING TO KEEP IT A SECRET

 DO NOT:
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blame them for hurting themselves

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call them "mad" or "mental"

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argue as to whether there is a problem or not

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show it if you become angry or frustrated

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forget that this is an illness: you may feel angry and frustrated if your friend refuses treatment but remember:

Everyone has the right to accept or refuse treatment unless their life is in danger!

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