Getting self-injury help is often the first step in stopping self-harm. Professional self-harm help and self-injury support groups can make all the difference in conquering self-harm (also known as self-injury and self-mutilation).
If you're currently in a crisis, feel suicidal and need help right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States at 1-800-273-8255 or go to your local emergency room. Comprehensive suicide information here.
There are different types of self-mutilation help:
- Professional help for self-harm
- Self-help for self-harm behaviors
- Support groups for self-harm
Professional Self-Injury Help
There are many places a person can go for professional self-injury help. One place to start is in a doctor's office. A doctor can often refer you to a person or organization that specializes in self-harm help. Often a referral to a psychotherapist is given for self-mutilation help.
A nationally-recognized self-harm help program is S.A.F.E. (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives. This is a treatment approach, professional network and educational resource base devoted to helping people stop self-mutilation. On the S.A.F.E. Alternatives website you can find:
- Treatment programs http://www.selfinjury.com/referrals/programs/
- Information on finding a therapist http://www.selfinjury.com/referrals/find/
- Therapist referrals http://www.selfinjury.com/referrals/therapists/
- Informational resources
Contact S.A.F.E. Alternatives:
- The S.A.F.E. Alternatives website http://www.selfinjury.com/
- Toll-free information line: 1-800-DON'T-CUT (366-8288)
A toll-free national hotline is also available specifically for youths under the age of 25. Boys Town is a support service for both males and females. They take calls from both the United States and Canada on self-harm and other mental health issues: Contact Boys Town:
- Boys Town website: http://www.boystown.org/
- Toll-free 24-hour helpline: 1-800-448-3000
Self-Help for Self-Mutilation
There is a lot of self-help available for self-mutilation. Websites, self-harm books and more are available to help you stop self-harm. One advantage of self-help resources is that they can be used at your own pace and can also be used in conjunction with professional self-harm help.
Some books on self-injury help include:1
- Conterio, K., Lader, W., Ph.D. & Bloom, J. (1998). Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-injurers, New York: Hyperion.
- Hollander, Michael (2008). Helping Teens Who Cut
- Hyman, J., (1999). Women Living With Self-Injury. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
- Kreisman, J., Straus, H. (2010). I Hate You - Don't Leave Me, Los Angeles: The BodyPress.
- Nakhla, F., & Jackson, G. (1993) Picking Up The Pieces. New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Redheffer, J. & Brecht, S. (2005). Beyond the Razor's Edge, Illinois: Virgin Ink Press.
- Sutton, J (2005). Healing the Hurt Within. Oxford, IRE, U.K: How To Books.
- Walsh, B. (2005) Treating Self-injury: A Practical Guide. N.Y. Guilford Press.
Some websites on self-harm help include:
- Self-Inury.net– includes many resources.
- Scar-Tissue.net – Includes personal experiences of self-harm, resources.
- Psyke.org – self-injury support and information.
Self-Injury Support Groups
Self-injury support groups can be found in-person through mental health organizations and can also be found online. It's important to develop a network of self-harm supports in an effort to get better. These are the people and places you can go to in the event that you're feeling a strong urge to self-harm.
Some online self-mutilation support groups include:
- HealthyPlace Self-Injury Forum: large resource for people looking for self-harm support.
- RecoverYourLife.com – this is one of the biggest self-harm support communities online. It supports people dealing with self-harm and other mental health issues. http://www.recoveryourlife.com/
- Reach Out.com – this self-harm support forum is specifically for people aged 14-25. Forums are available for self-injury support as well as other youth issues. http://us.reachout.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?14-Self-Harm
- Self-Injury.net – forums are available for self-mutilation support as well as other resources. http://gabrielle.self-injury.net/
- Scar-Tissue.net – includes self-injury support groups both for people with first-hand knowledge of self-harm and for those who support them. http://www.scar-tissue.net/message.html
We have specific information on cutting help and treatment here.