Self-harm is used as coping mechanism where we deliberately hurt ourselves to relieve emotional distress. It can also be used to provide a sense of relief from overwhelming situations or distressing memories and experiences. Students who use self-harm as an unhelpful coping strategy can report feeling difficult emotions such as shame and despair which can make you feel worse in the long term.

It is important to take care of your self-harm injuries by using first aid. Alternatives to self-harm can involve delaying the urge to engage with it by distracting ourselves with self-soothing activities. It helps if these activities distract us with movements, such as making a cup of tea or drawing. This will not solve the problem but can delay the urge to engage with self-harm. If you self-harm, it is important to reach out to develop long term coping strategies that will help you manage the urge to engage with it. 

What support do we offer? 

Student Services is here to help you if you are struggling with self-harm. We can help you develop healthy long term coping strategies to replace the urge to self-harm and manage the difficulties that cause the urge to engage with it. You can book an appointment to speak to a member of staff or email for advice. You can also see our latest groups and workshops on our Instagram

Alternative Internal Support

You can access self-help through various University channels such as:

  • ShelfHelp, which provides eBooks or physical copies which can help you understand and manage self-harm.
  • In Crisis Now, provides university contact information if you would like to speak to someone if you feel unsafe.
  • TogetherAll - a safe, online community where people support each other anonymously to improve mental health and wellbeing. (This service will be available until February 2023. After this time, we recommend students reach out to SHOUT).

External Support

If you would like to access some self-help materials here are a list of alternative support resources.