This booklet aims to help you understand more about self-harm and what to do if you are worried about yourself
or someone else. It explains what self-harm is, what to do if you or someone you know is self-harming, and how to
get help. Self-harm is very common and affects more people than you might think.
‘10% of young people self-harm’
This means that it’s likely that at least two young people in every secondary school classroom have self-harmed at
some time. If you are self-harming, you are not alone – lots of information and support are available.
Remember, self-harm isn’t a suicide attempt or a cry for attention. However, it can be a way for some people
to cope with overwhelming and distressing thoughts or feelings. Self-harm should be taken seriously, whatever
the reason behind it. It is possible to live without self-harm. It is important to know that you won’t always feel the way you do now. With the right help and support most people who self- harm can and do fully recover.
All of the information in this booklet is based on the findings of the National Inquiry into Self-harm among young people. The Inquiry was carried out by two charities, The Mental Health Foundation and The Camelot Foundation.
The Inquiry panel heard evidence from many hundreds of people including young people who self-harm, or have
self-harmed in the past, and those who work with or care about them. This booklet is based on what they said.
For more information about the National Inquiry, and a full list of contributors, see the Truth Hurts report at