On Tuesday 1 March people across the country will be joining together to raise awareness of self-injury to reduce stigma and encourage people to seek support.
Self-injury Awareness Day takes place on 1 March every year and is led by LifeSIGNS in the UK. The event aims to reduce stigma surrounding self-injury and let those who self-injure know there is help and support out there so they do not suffer in silence.
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust created a Self-Help for Self-Injury information booklet to support those who are self-injuring as well as providing information for their friends and family. This information resource was produced by Jenny Winnard, a member of staff at the Trust in partnership with an Expert by Experience, Sarah Devlin and provides a great source of information on how to care for wounds as well as help available to deal with thoughts and feelings to reduce occurrences of self-injury and help improve overall health and wellbeing. The booklet also received national recognition at the 2015 British Medical Association Patient Information Awards.
Sarah Devlin, co-author of the booklet and an Expert by Experience said:
"The idea of the booklet came about when I was receiving treatment from services at the Trust and I was working closely with Jenny looking for resources specifically around self-injury. However the more we searched we realised there weren"t that many resources which focused solely on self-injury. From this, Jenny and I decided to pull information together and the result was the Self-Help for Self-Injury booklet. Putting the booklet together also acted as a form of therapy for me and I could draw on my personal experiences so we knew we had something that could really help people in similar positions.
"I hope people who may be self-injuring find the booklet useful and that it encourages them to stay safe and seek help when they feel ready."
Jenny Winnard, Assistant Professional Lead Nurse for the Adult Mental Health Network at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
"Working with Sarah was great and we are so proud of the end result. Sarah worked extremely hard on the booklet and this is reflected in the end result which provides an invaluable resource for people who are experiencing self-injury. The booklet also provides information for friends and family of those who may be self-injuring which we hope will help them start conversations and provide the right support when the individual is ready to access help. We hope it can also serve as a tool to help break down barriers so everyone feels comfortable in having conversations about self-injury and reducing the stigma so individuals don"t feel alone."
You can find an electronic version of the 'Self-Help for Self-Injury" booklet by visiting www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/information-leaflets. If you or someone you know is concerned about their mental health and self-injury, please contact your GP in the first instance. The Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline provides an out of hours listening service and can signpost people to additional support as necessary, they can be contacted on 0800 915 4640.