Launch Recite Me assistive technology Launch Recite Me assistive technology
Hide this page

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Children & Young People Mental Health Support


What is self-harm?

Self-harm is when you hurt yourself as a way of coping with difficult or overwhelming feelings, memories or experiences.

There are many forms of self-harm. Some of them include injuring yourself in a physical way such as cutting, burning or scratching your skin. It can also include injuring yourself by hitting yourself or punching walls, poisoning yourself or overdosing. Self-harm can also be less obvious such as putting yourself in risky situations, excessive exercise, over-eating or under-eating.

Self-harm can make you feel better and might enable you to deal with difficult feelings temporarily or for a short while. However, self-harm can also bring up difficult feelings and might make you feel worse. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed of it. You may be worried about other people judging or worrying about you. You may even fear that they ask you to stop self-harming immediately.

These and other worries might mean that you keep your self-harm hidden from anyone. This is a common reaction.

How can I help myself?

If you are thinking of stopping or reducing self-harming you might find it difficult to know where to start. There are some things that you can try to help yourself initially, but you might need to try a few in order to find something that works for you.

  • Keep a diary to record what happens before, during or after self-harm to understand what triggers the urge to self-harm
  • Distract yourself
  • Delay self-harm each time you feel the urge

  have some really useful information that you may find helpful - click their logo or here

These are also some leaflets that you may find helpful:

Centre 33 leaflet:                                                   

 Self harm leaflet 

For parents and carers:               For professionals:  

Coping with SH  Understanding and responding to SH 

Calm Harm is an award-winning app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, using the basic principles of an evidence-based therapy called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).

Calm Harm provides tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm. You can make it private by setting a password, and personalise the app if you so wish. You will be able to track your progress and notice change.

Read more about it to see if it is for you via the NHS website here or click the Calm Harm logo for information about accessing the app. 

Self harm support
Supporting families of children who self-harm

Nessie is commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council to provide free support to families of children and young people who self-harm. Nessie offer:
· Parent workshops across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in schools, community settings and online;
· Targeted 1-1 parent support;
· Telephone and online parent support.

Nessie is a not-for-profit organisation providing easy access to arts therapies, counselling, support, training and supervision so that children, young people and their families can thrive. We provide support through partnering with local schools, county councils and community organisations. Parents can also reach out to us directly. We are proud to offer qualified, regulated, child centered, flexible support. Our Mental Health Leads training is quality assured by the DfE. Feedback from those who have accessed Nessie’s services:

“As a team, we were really concerned for her and as a team we have been so uplifted to see the impact of all the work that has been going on. It feels like everything came together to put her back on her feet again.” (Professional)

“When I came to NESSie I didn't want to be here. My dad had taken his own life when I was young and I felt lost. I didn't fit in in school and I was bullied a lot. I have been to CAMHS before when I lived in Norfolk. I came to the centre and I really liked my therapist. I felt like she understood me. She helped me at school. She talked to my teachers. I stopped self-harming. Now, I have finished my exams and got a job. I am beginning to feel better and more confident and slowly feeling a lot less anxious.” (Young Person)

"I am so thankful for all the support you have offered" (Parent)

For more information, please contact us: 

NEXT online Peer Support and Advice Session for Parent/Carers of Children and Young People:
For other sessions including 8 week course, please see poster details below.


No comments have been left for this article

Have your say...

Your name will be published alongside your comment but we will not publish your email address.

All comments will be reviewed by a moderator before being published.

Please ensure you complete all fields marked as mandatory.