Free Self-Harm & Suicide Alertness training session dates

Written by helen. Posted in Blog

Anyone working with children or young people is invited to attend a free workshop on Self-Harm and Suicide Alertness on the following dates:

Barrow fire station, 9:30am-1pm

  • 30 June
  • 21 July
  • 25 August

Kendal fire station, 9am-12:30pm

  • 18 July
  • 15 August

The session incorporates case studies, video and group discussion delivered by experienced counsellors.


I have a better understanding of a specific student I work with” - Pastoral Coordinator

“Excellent workshop, lots of knowledge gained that will benefit my role as a PCSO” - Police Community Support Officer

“Highly recommend, trainer’s experience and knowledge was clearly evident” - School Nurse


Outcomes of the session:

  • To understand what is self-harm and why young people self-harm
  • To experience increased confidence in discussing self-harm and suicidal ideation with young people and appreciate the importance of asking directly about thoughts of suicide
  • To be aware of the Cumbria LSCB guidance for professionals working with children and young people who self-harm and how to relate it to our work
  • To be aware of local and national resources that are available 

To book a place please contact Helen Mason on 01229 832269 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This can also be delivered in-house at your workplace.

Working with Self-Harm in Counselling

Written by helen. Posted in Blog

One of the keys to understanding self-harm behaviour is to recognise and relate it to ourselves. We can deliver a half or full-day workshop on Working with Self-Harm in Counselling which combines reflection on our professional responses with practical techniques for working with clients who self-harm. The workshop will be delivered by one of SAFA's experienced counsellors and will involve video, experiential exercises, discussion of case studies and questions and answers.


  • To explore the reasons, methods and feelings that are involved in self-harm and look at our own responses
  • Asking questions and reviewing risk
  • Ways of working with clients who self-harm in a counselling setting
  • Professional and ethical considerations


“Well delivered, clearly has expertise in the area. Encouraged exploration and reflection.” University counselling service staff member

"This has reminded me to use ALL the tools in the box and try one or two I haven't used, depending on what works for the client." Counsellor

We can deliver this workshop at your workplace, please contact Helen Mason on 01229 832269 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a quote.

Funding received from Co-Op Local Community Fund

Written by helen. Posted in Blog

A huge thanks to Co Op members! SAFA have been awarded £1,301.08 from the Co-Op Local Community Fund to help local children and adults suffering from an eating disorder. Staff and volunteers were at the Co-Op Island Road store yesterday. A big thanks to the staff at the store for organising a raffle and raising £115 for SAFA.

"And I Just Kept on Walking" by Amanda Ducksbury

Written by helen. Posted in Blog

“And I Just Kept on Walking” by Amanda Ducksbury is an inspirational collection of poetry and photography about her journey through depression and an eating disorder to the elation of walking through the Lakeland fells. All the profits from the sale of the book will kindly be donated to SAFA and will go towards someone else’s counselling. Amanda told us: “I find writing very cathartic and as I find it difficult to concentrate it has taken me three years to complete. Most of the poems are about walks my husband and I have done through the seasons over the years. SAFA is a very worthwhile charity and helps and has helped many people of all ages with their issues of self-harm.”

“And I Just Kept on Walking” is available to purchase on for £8.00.

Co-op Local Community Funding

Written by graeme. Posted in Blog

SAFA have been selected to be part of the Co-op Local Community Fund through the Co-op store on Plymouth Street, Walney.  It means that we will get a contribution towards supporting people who self harm, but we need your help. The more support we get, the more funding we could receive. So if you're a Co-op Member log in to your Co-op Membership account and choose us. If you're not a member, please join and support us!


 coop web banner

Self Harm And Eating Disorders Conference 2016

Written by graeme. Posted in Blog

SAFA recently celebrated the success of our first Self-Harm and Eating Disorders conference, held on 21 September 2016 at Newton Rigg College, Penrith. The conference brought together 62 practitioners from education, social care, health and third sectors. The morning included three thought-provoking but different lectures. In the afternoon delegates attended a range of workshops.

Dr Andy Siddaway, Clinical Psychologist and Research Fellow at the University of Stirling gave an interesting account of his work in identifying and measuring key cognitions in suicidal and non-suicidal self-harm to better understand the similarities and differences in thinking that underpin these behaviours so that we can develop more effective interventions, reduce stigma, and improve quality of life.

Dr Gillian Rayner, Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing from the University of Salford presented a paper on the cycle of shame in self-harm and her study of interpersonal processes between staff and clients.

Liz Bolt, Consultant Psychologist at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust delivered a lecture and workshop on eating disorders and personality disorders which looked at family involvement and the Maudsley model.

Samreen Khan, Counsellor at SAFA and private practice delivered an experiential workshop on Working with Cultural Difference. Self-harm can affect anyone, however research has shown that people from ethnic minority communities find it harder to access mainstream services. Studies have shown that young black and Asian females are at increased risk of self-harm and suicide. The workshop helped delegates to identify their understanding of culture and its impact on practice and develop their capacity to work with difference.

Tara Stone, Development Manager at Be: Trans Support & Development North delivered a workshop on Barriers to Mental Health Service Access for Transgender People. Self-harm and suicide rates are substantially higher for transgender people than the general population. Yet despite this many trans people don't get the help they require from mental health services. This workshop highlighted those barriers and explored ways to remove or minimise them.

Danny Banks (Specialist Advisory Teacher, Autism Spectrum Conditions) and Kate Holliday (Specialist HLTA, Autism Spectrum Conditions) delivered workshops on Autism and Communication. Communication develops differently for many people with autism. It is thought that about half of people with autism engage in self-injurious behaviours and 20-30% engage in self-harm at some point in their lives. This workshop offered guidance on communicating with people with autism in order to effectively support them.

Karen Gates, Specialist Dietician for ANIS (Anorexia Nervosa Intensive Service) at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust delivered Practical Approaches for Managing Anorexia Nervosa from her perspective as a dietician.

Gill Schwer, Focus Family Manager at Cumbria County Council delivered workshops on Whole Family Working. This workshop covered the benefits of whole family working, the impact of family dynamics on members of the family and wider influences on mental health.

The feedback has been extremely positive, with the average overall satisfaction being 4.7 out of 5 (5 being excellent).

Thanks so much for organising such an informative and thought provoking conference.”

 “I really enjoyed the conference, all of the speakers were excellent and very obviously experts in their field.”

 “I learned something in each session.”

North West Evening Mail Home Features Barrow woman, 20, tells of battle with mental health issues

Posted in Blog

SINCE opening in 2006, Self Harm Awareness for the Furness Area has seen an increasing demand for its help, and is now preparing to takes its services county-wide. Today, two women with first-hand experience of the value of SAFA’s work share their stories with EMMA PRESTON

emma prestonJUST four years ago, Kelly Dickinson’s life was spiralling out of control. Anorexia and bulimia had seen her weight drop to just five stones, and the Barrow teenager was admitted to an adolescent mental health unit in Manchester, miles from her Kent Street home.

Then just 16, she struggled with her weight-gain treatment and found an unhealthy and dangerous way to cope.

Now 20, Kelly explains: “It got to a point where I was cutting myself every day.

“When I spoke to them about it, they said it is a pattern they do see occur. Because they’re taking the control away from you in a way, you’re finding a way to compensate.”

Kelly’s self-harm saw her hospitalised several times, as she did serious damage to her arms and legs.

SHARING HER STORY Natasha Kroger-Wyllie, right, with Emma Preston

Barrow charity thanks landlord for help in time of crisis

Posted in Blog

north west evening mailHE simply stepped in to help a struggling charity when they found themselves out on the street.

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Bob Heron officially opening Self Harm Awareness for the Furness Area’s new headquarters in Barrow with the mayor and mayoress of Barrow, Councillor Wendy Maddox (right) and Dorothy Ashburner JON GRANGER REF: 50043512B004

But when Furness businessman, Bob Heron, agreed to let a building to Self Harm Awareness for the Furness Area, he had no idea how big a part of his life the cause would become.

Having watched the work of the team at his property in 114 Duke Street, Barrow, Mr Heron was so inspired that he signed up to the charity’s board of directors.

SAFA arranged to rent the Duke Street base last year, after the team was forced to move out of Waterside House in Barrow.

Barrow Borough Council served all 19 tenants with an eviction notice in March, giving the small groups and businesses until June 1 to move out, after leasing the building to BAE Systems.

Mr Heron, the managing director of two Barrow firms, Subconsult and Hydrotest UK, said he was only too pleased to help SAFA.

“I’d moved out of my Duke Street premises and it was empty so when I heard about SAFA looking for somewhere new, I was only too pleased to help and try and make a difference,” Mr Heron said.

“They do a fantastic job and I’m a firm believer in trying to give something back to the community.”

SAFA chief executive Cindy Daltioni said, the team could not be happier with their new home or more grateful for Mr Heron’s contribution.