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Feel like hurting yourself?

There are many reasons why people might want to hurt themselves on purpose, or ‘self-harm’. For some, it’s a way to cope with, express or relieve overwhelming emotions or tension. Self-harm can also be a way of showing someone how upset you feel. It can be a way of feeling in control especially if other parts of your life feel out of control, or you’re trapped in a difficult situation.

How can I get help?

If you’re having overwhelming thoughts of suicide and don’t feel confident that you can keep yourself safe, talk to an adult that you trust. If this isn’t possible, contact your GP. If it’s late at night, there’ll be an emergency GP number for you to use at any time. The GP will ask you some questions and give you guidance on what to do next.

Why do people self-harm?

Some people do it to try and feel more in control of their lives. Others may take risks that put their lives in danger, such as starting fights or hanging out with people who are not good for them. Using drugs and alcohol can make people take risks and do things they wouldn’t normally do when sober.

People self-harm for many different reasons and although it may seem like a good way to handle a difficult time or situation, it is not a positive coping strategy. It can give short term relief but self-harm won’t fix the root cause. It can add to your stress and even become a habit (like smoking) that you find hard to break.

Although you may not fully understand why you want to self-harm, there are ways to cope and get help.


Coping with self-harm

Mental Health Matters runs online Self-Harm – Awareness, Recovery and Education groups.

Coping with Self-Harm

Every Monday 4:30 – 6pm on ZOOM

Start your journey to recovery. Learn distraction techniques and coping strategies that can help you to reduce self-harm in your own way.

Ages: 16+

Email: share@mhmwales.org (for details and meeting ID)

Self-Harm chat & support

Mental Health Matters runs online Self-Harm – Awareness, Recovery and Education groups.

Self-Harm Chat & Support

Every Wednesday 4:30 – 6pm on ZOOM

Supportive, open and frank conversation around self-harm and anything else.

Ages: 16+

Email: share@mhmwales.org (for details and meeting ID)

Youthscape – Alumina

Alumina is a free, online 7 week course for young people struggling with self-harm.

Ages: 14-19 year olds

Visit Alumnia

The Jac Lewis Foundation

The Jac Lewis Foundation has a number of different projects supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of children, young people and adults across Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Ammanford.

  • Bereavement through Suicide Project
  • Swansea City Football Mental Health Hub
  • West Glamorgan Counselling Service
  • Youth Service Project

Visit The Jack Lewis Foundation



No young person should have to struggle alone. HOPELINE247, is a suicide prevention helpline and a free, confidential, non-judgemental space to talk openly about your thoughts of suicide with our trained advisers.

Whether you are a young person, concerned other or professional we can support you via phone, text, email and webchat, every day, or you can visit our website for information and advice.

Tel: 0800 068 4141 24/7

Text: 88247

Email: pat@papyrus.uk.org

Visit Papyrus


Information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people.

Tel: 0808 80 23456

Text: 84001

Online Chat


Things you might find useful

Calm Harm

Free app that helps to resist or manage the urge to self-harm.

Age: 12+

Calm Harm


Stay connected to your network when you’re in crisis with MY3. With MY3, you can be prepared to help yourself and reach out to others when you’re feeling suicidal.


Straight-up advice – Heads above Waves

The Heads above the Waves (HATW) website gives straight-up advice on lots of issues including self-harm with real-life stories.

Visit HATW

Young Minds

Information on a range of feelings and symptoms – a site for children and young people, families, and professionals.

Visit Young Minds