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Bringing Awareness to Self-Harm: Supporting Youth During Self-Harm Awareness Month

self harm awareness month

As March approaches, so does a crucial time for mental health awareness – Self-Harm Awareness Month. At Western Youth Services, we believe in the power of knowledge, understanding, and support to break the stigma surrounding self-harm and provide assistance to those who need it most. In this blog post, we aim to shed light on this critical issue by discussing the signs of self-harm and providing valuable resources for youth who may be struggling.

Recognizing the Signs

Self-harm manifests in various forms and often serves as a coping mechanism for individuals experiencing overwhelming emotions or distress. It’s essential to be vigilant and observant, as the signs of self-harm may not always be obvious. Some common indicators to watch for include:

  1. Unexplained cuts, bruises, or scars on the body, particularly in areas that are easily concealed.
  2. Wearing long sleeves or pants even in warm weather to hide marks or injuries.
  3. Withdrawal from social activities or sudden changes in behavior, such as becoming more isolated or secretive.
  4. Increased sensitivity to touch or pain.
  5. Finding sharp objects like razors, knives, or scissors hidden in their belongings.
  6. Expressing feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or an inability to cope with emotions.

Resources for Support

If you suspect that a youth may be engaging in self-harm, it’s crucial to approach the situation with empathy, compassion, and non-judgment. Here are some resources that can provide assistance and support:

  1. Western Youth Services: Our organization offers counseling, therapy, and support groups specifically tailored to address self-harm behaviors and promote mental wellness among youth. Our team of experienced professionals is here to listen, understand, and guide individuals toward healing and recovery.
  1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK): This 24/7 helpline provides free and confidential support to individuals in distress or crisis. Trained counselors are available to offer emotional support, crisis intervention, and resources for those struggling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts.
  1. Crisis Text Line: By texting HOME to 741741, individuals can connect with a trained crisis counselor who can provide support, encouragement, and resources via text message. This service is available 24/7 and is free, confidential, and accessible from anywhere in the United States.
  1. Therapy and Counseling Services: Seeking therapy or counseling from a licensed mental health professional can be instrumental in addressing underlying issues contributing to self-harm behaviors. Therapists can provide a safe space for individuals to explore their emotions, develop healthier coping strategies, and work towards healing and recovery.
  1. Online Support Communities: There are various online forums, support groups, and communities where individuals struggling with self-harm can connect with others who understand their experiences. These platforms offer a sense of belonging, validation, and solidarity, which can be invaluable on the journey towards recovery.

As we observe Self-Harm Awareness Month, let us reaffirm our commitment to promoting mental health awareness, destigmatizing self-harm, and providing support to those in need. By recognizing the signs of self-harm and offering resources for assistance, we can play a vital role in saving lives and fostering healing and resilience among youth in our communities. Together, let’s strive to create a world where everyone feels seen, heard, and supported on their journey towards mental wellness.

If your child or a young loved one is struggling with a mental health concern, we encourage you to reach out to a mental health professional or to contact an Access Coordinator at Western Youth Services by sending an email to [email protected] or by calling us toll-free at 888-312-0406.

Orange County, State and National resources can be found on our site here:

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