We raise awareness about self-harm to build understanding and empathy and to reduce the number of people who feel alone and suffer in silence. Raising awareness is about educating people who do not self-injure, and reaching out to people who do.
Sometimes people having a hard time might try to cope by harming themselves. Self-harm is a complicated thing. It is not a suicide attempt, but actually, something that may happen when someone is trying to cope with painful feelings. It’s important that we recognize and support people using self-harm by connecting them to resources while avoiding creating stigma. Stigma is judgement, negative comments, thoughts, and actions. Stigma makes it harder for all of us to reach out for help when we need it.
It’s also important to talk to someone you trust if you or someone you know is using self-harm or if thoughts of suicide are happening. This could include a parent, school counsellor, teacher your trust, or check out a Teen Clinic or your local health centre. If you don’t feel ready to talk to someone in person or aren’t sure who to reach out to you can always start by talking with a Help Line. The Kids Help Phone is open 24/7 and free to call. Their number is 1-800-668-6868. They also offer online chat and a text service if you send the word CONNECT to 686868.
Want to show your support? Wear an orange ribbon on March 1. You can also draw butterflies, a symbol of or the word Love on your arm.