1 in 5 young people self harm, you are not alone.

Papyrus Suicide Hopeline

Call 0800 068 41 41


Call 116 123


Call 0800 1111

3 Steps to Self Harm Support

1: Talk to someone you trust

Getting help can be tough, the first step is telling someone that you trust, this can be a friend, a family member, a teacher etc.

Telling people that you self harm is scary. You don’t know how they will react.

Although self harm is common that does not make it “acceptable” to others.

Give the person time to take in what you are telling them. You may have taken them by surprise and their first reaction may not reflect how they feel.

Be ready for questions – think in advance about what they may ask you and if it is something that you are not yet ready to talk about, tell them that.

It may be as difficult for them to hear what you have to say as it is for you to say it. They may wonder where they went wrong or feel guilty for not noticing your pain.

Don’t blame them for their behaviour which may have triggered you, or for not noticing your pain. You want their understanding not their guilt, and self harm is always your choice.

Let the person know that you are telling them because you trust them, not because you are trying to guilt trip or manipulate them.

To me self harm is my expression. I can’t talk about my life and its my way of trying to tell everybody who I am, where I have been, and what has happened.

2: Look at your options

There are many different options which can be confusing, but it’s important that you’re listened to and get the help that’s right for you. wïsh centre offers free and confidential help for young people who self harm.

Other local services to Harrow

Free online Counselling

3: Find support


The wïsh centre can support you through Outreach, Therapy and Self Harm Peer Support. Outreach can include up to 3 one to one sessions with you in a school/college or at the wïsh centre to learn about the wïsh centre and to discuss your options. These will be done digitally during the Coronavirus lockdown.

You can then choose whether to receive support from the wïsh centre or to be signposted to another service. For this you can be referred through your school, your GP or nurse, other services or a family member or carer. If you are aged 14+ you can refer yourself.

We can see you weekly for therapy in school or college or at our Centre in Harrow, and you can join one of our peer support or volunteering groups to be with other people your age who won’t judge you and will be there to listen and care.


The wïsh centre can point you in the direction of good support services, including those we have trained.

Coping Strategies

Try some distraction techniques the next time you feel like self harming

  • 1 minute rule: try and wait for 1 minute when you want to self harm.
  • Pick a distraction like listening to music, writing or drawing, hitting a pillow.
  • See over time if you can increase this to 2 minutes, 3 minutes etc.
  • Be proud of your achievement, step by step – you are in control!

Service information

WISH are supporting young people through the Coronavirus crisis

Self Harm Peer Support

A safe space for you to talk and find coping strategies. The weekly group is also a place to make friends, try new things and have fun!

After school at the wïsh centre in Wealdstone. Digital group is taking place during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Ages 13-16 (Young women and female to male or non-binary transgender young people)

Safe to speak

1:1 therapy where you have the time and space to talk and to express.

Sessions will be held at your school or at the the wïsh centre. These will be by telephone or video call during Corona virus lockdown.

Ages 13-19 (All genders)

We can also offer 1:1 support for young people who self harm ages 19-25.

Positive changes

Weekly group for you to have peer support in a non-judgemental space and to develop new skills, friendships and confidence through volunteering and campaigning.

After school/ college at the wïsh centre in Wealdstone. There will be a digital group during the Corona virus lockdown

Ages 15-19 (All Genders)

Safe step

Weekly sessions with a therapist at your school using art and talking.

Ages 8-12 (All genders)

Safe step is suspended during the Coronavirus lockdown.


Up to 4 sessions with Annie, our Youth Support & Participation Worker to explore the best options for you and to help you feel comfortable coming to the wïsh centre.

You can be seen in school or at the centre in Wealdstone. This will be by phone, text or video call during the Corona virus lockdown.

We will not accept a referral if:

  • You haven’t consented to a referral
  • You are currently using class A drugs
  • You have a recent history of violence or exploitation of others
  • During the Coronavirus lockdown we will risk assess young people who are referred with recent suicide attempts

If we feel our services are not appropriate for you, we will signpost you to another service.