YHS Cares

York High School's dedicated website to pupil health and wellbeing.

Self Harm

  • Definition
    Self-harm is when you hurt yourself as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings.

    Self-harm can also mean putting yourself in risky situations or not looking after your physical or emotional need.

    Self-harming can be very dangerous. If it gets out of hand you could accidentally kill yourself.
  • Signs
    Cutting yourself
    Burning yourself
    inserting objects into your body
    hitting yourself or walls
    Exercising excessively
    Scratching and pulling hair
    Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
    Taking drugs
    Over-eating or under eating
    Swallowing poisons or inappropriate objects
  • Advice
    Identify what emotion triggers your self-harm and look for suitable alternatives

    Feeling alone or isolated?
    Try: talking to someone, writing down how you feel, walking the dog, wrapping a blanket around yourself, meeting up with a friend, or doing some exercise.

    Feeling angry?
    Try: punching something like a pillow, doing some exercise, running, screwing up paper and throwing it, snapping twigs, squeezing clay, hitting a rolled up newspaper on a door frame, screaming, crying, or having a cold shower.

    Feel like you hate yourself or that you’re not good enough (low self-esteem)?
    Try: listening to music, having a bath, burning incense, phoning a friend, writing, painting, or listing good things about yourself.

    Feel like you can’t control things in your life?
    Try: organising something, cleaning or tidying, solving a puzzle, setting a target time (for example, saying you won’t harm for 15 minutes, and then if you can last, try another 15 minutes).

    Feel numb or like a ‘zombie’?
    Try: focusing on something like breathing, being around people who make you feel good, craft activities, making a photo collage, playing an instrument, baking, playing computer games.

    Feel like you want to escape from your life or a difficult situation?
    Try: having a hot or cold shower, drawing on your body with red pen, massaging lotion into the places you would normally harm, squeezing ice cubes or biting on lemon for the “shock factor,” or painting nails.

    Talk to someone you trust, a friend, an adult, a teacher, GP or counsellor
  • Where can I get help?
    In school you can talk to the following people:
    A friend
    Your Tutor
    Head of House
    Miss Masterman – Pupil Welfare Officer
    Noreen Reid – Pastoral Mentor (Drop in sessions Tuesday & Wednesday during break and lunchtime)

    In the community:
    Talk to your parents or GP

    Childline (Free) 0800 1111
    York Mind 01904 643364
    Samaritans 116 123

    Young Minds
    Calm Harm