Well in Mind: How to Support Someone who Self-Harms

How to Support Someone who Self-Harms

  • Recognize that self-injury is usually a symptom of serious psychological distress
  • Avoid any negative reactions to the self-injury
  • Discuss the situation calmly, let the person know you have noticed the injuries and are concerned
  • Focus on ways to stop the distress
  • Encourage the person to speak to someone they trust the next time they feel the urge to self-harm

DO NOT:         

  • Focus on stopping self-injury (although not healthy, this is a way of coping, and if there is no alternative coping in place their distress could actually become even more severe)
  • Trivialize the feelings or situations that have led to self-injury. You don’t have to agree with why they feel the way they do, just focus on how they do feel and focus on that.
  • Punish the person
  •  Threaten to withdraw care

Well In Mind is here for you.  Call 815-933-2240 to schedule an appointment or to ask about your EAP benefits.