MENU

Surviving and Thriving – Self Harm and Eating Disorders

Resources to help

And helplines – suicide prevention and self harm

Resources to help staff

No harm done: recognising and responding to self harmPDF pack from Young Minds for staff working with young people which covers warning signs, conversations, and practical support.
Your Mind Plan | Every Mind Matters | One You (www.nhs.uk)The Mind Plan Quiz for an up to date plan for managing your mental wellbeing, including tips to help you manage anxiety, sleep better and boost your mood.
Managing Self Harm – Practical Guidance for SchoolsA document developed to help guide schools in considering which factors need to be included in a self- harm policy and ways to implement that successfully.
Youth in crisis? A survey of wellbeing and self harm among 13 to 17 years oldsA survey of wellbeing and self-harm among 13 to 17 years olds by Addaction’s Mind and Body survey. Their objective is to provide a picture, limited of self-reported attitudes and behaviour among young people on the topics of wellbeing and self-harm.
Young people who self-harm: A Guide for School StaffFrom the University of Oxford. Provides advice to staff on the nature of self-harm and how to support students who are self-harming.
Self HarmBooklet and audio from Devon Partnership NHS Trust for people who deliberately harm themselves and are seeking help. It is also for friends and family who may have difficulty understanding this behaviour.
Eating DisordersBooklet and audio to help you recognise an eating disorder and understand its causes. It also describes the effect of an eating disorder and helps you to think about whether you want to make changes.

Resources to help students

Understand what influences your mental health and well-beingThis booklet is produced by people who use and work in services provided by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) and some of their supporters. It aims to help you to understand what is important to your wellbeing.
The Truth about Self Harm A booklet based on the findings of the National Inquiry into Self-harm among young people. The Inquiry was carried out by The Mental Health Foundation and the Camelot Foundation.
Understanding self harmMind’s booklet for anyone who self-harms, or their friends and family. Created to give its readers a great understanding and knowledge of the condition and of what they can do to help overcome it.
My safety netMy safety net - Who would you feel safe and comfortable with (start from the inside to outside) - Once you’ve added people you trust, add thoughts, activities or places that can be part of your safety net Other questions for safety planning: - what has been helpful in the past - think about whether you want a long list of things or would that be too overwhelming - find it hard to make decisions in crisis? Maybe try numbering things for a order or make a flow chart. Circles are Me - Family and close friends - Friends and people I see regularly/every day - Professional people and helplines I could go toA diagram to help students determine who they feel comfortable talking to in their ‘safety net.’
Self HarmBooklet and audio from Devon Partnership NHS Trust for people who deliberately harm themselves and are seeking help. It is also for friends and family who may have difficulty understanding this behaviour.
Eating DisordersBooklet and audio to help you recognise an eating disorder and understand its causes. It also describes the effect of an eating disorder and helps you to think about whether you want to make changes.
Self- Harming
Alternatives & Distractions
  • Scream or punch into a pillow / something soft
  • Rip pages out of an old book or tear up paper into tiny pieces
  • Exercise / Go for a walk, use your senses to be aware of your surroundings
  • Play with squeezy ball / Blue Tac or roll it around in your hands
  • Listen to music / Sing at the top of your voice / Dance around and clap to a song 
  • Wrap the part you harm and sleep it off
  • Draw on yourself where you want to harm, red will give the impression of blood
  • Hold, squeeze or rub ice where you want to harm – can give the same kind of sensation
  • Have a warm and relaxing bubble bath or a long shower
  • A rubber band around your wrist can always be an alternative, pinging it against yourself when having the urge to self-harm
  • Make a distraction box – put in pieces of paper with the above ideas, photos, jokes etc.
Reversing fight or flight – BreathBreathe slowly: Imagine breathing into a balloon and count 5 for the in breath, hold for 2 and 8 for the out breath. Repeat for 10 breaths.

Opposite Action to fast, shallow breathing in fight or flight 

Relax: Tense and relax all the key muscles.  

Opposite Action to muscle tension ready to fight or run away. 

Exercise: Short vigorous spurts of exercise to get your heart rate up – Run  up and down stairs, run on the spot, round the field/garden, do 10 star-jumps This tricks the brain into thinking that the danger is over (when the heart rate rises with the  exercise and then falls at the end of the exercise,) and fight or flight is over. Limit the  exercise to 10 minutes maximum. 

Attention: Shift your attention to the present moment. Describe 5 things you can see around you, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can  smell and 1 thing you can taste. 

Opposite action to focusing on the danger and internal body sensations. Fight or flight can  be switched off, as the brain connects with the ‘safe’ present moment.

Temperature: If you can, fill a basin with cold water and ice and when its freezing, put your face in the water for over 10 seconds. If this is difficult,  have a cold shower, ice pack on face or splash cold water on the face. This triggers the dive reflex, which we have as mammals when we enter cold water – our  heart rate instantly drops. 

Hold Ice: Similar to Temperature, hold ice in your hand to ground you to the  present moment and take the attention away from danger thoughts.

Resources to help parents and carers

No Harm Done – Parent’s PackA booklet from Young Minds to talk parents through the steps to take when their child is self-harming.
Coping with self-harm – a guide for parents and carersA guide developed by researchers at the University of Oxford aimed at helping parents, carers, other family members and friends cope with a young person self-harming.
Advice and information for parents on eating disorders A Young Mind’s guide to signs, symptoms and help finding support for parents and carers of children with eating disorders.
The Truth about Self Harm A booklet based on the findings of the National Inquiry into Self-harm among young people. The Inquiry was carried out by The Mental Health Foundation and the Camelot Foundation.
Understanding self harmMind’s booklet for anyone who self-harms, or their friends and family. Created to give its readers a great understanding and knowledge of the condition and of what they can do to help overcome it.
Self HarmBooklet and audio from Devon Partnership NHS Trust for people who deliberately harm themselves and are seeking help. It is also for friends and family who may have difficulty understanding this behaviour.
Eating DisordersBooklet and audio to help you recognise an eating disorder and understand its causes. It also describes the effect of an eating disorder and helps you to think about whether you want to make changes.
Supporting your child: Self-harm and SuicideBooklet from Papyrus to provide information and guidance and to help parents cope with a young person who is struggling with self-harm or thoughts of suicide.