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What is self-harm?
Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It is usually a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress.

Sometimes, when people self-harm they feel on some level that they intend to die. More than half of people who die by suicide have a history of self-harm.

However, the intention is more often to punish themselves, express their distress or relieve unbearable tension. Sometimes, the reason is a mixture of both.

Self-harm can also be a cry for help.

Getting help
If you're self-harming, you should see your GP for help. They can refer you to healthcare professionals at a local community mental health service for further assessment. This assessment will result in your care team working out a treatment plan with you to help with your distress.

Treatment for people who self-harm usually involves seeing a therapist to discuss your thoughts and feelings, and how these affect your behaviour and wellbeing. They can also teach you coping strategies to help prevent further episodes of self-harm. If you're badly depressed, it could also involve taking antidepressants or other medication.
Read more about getting help if you self-harm.

How can we help you?
If you're self-harming you should see your GP for help, they can refer you to healthcare professionals at one of our local mental health services.

If you feel you are in mental health crisis, visit our help in a crisis page for advice and support.
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