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If you are injured or have taken an overdose, Call 999 or go to A&E immediately.
If you are having a mental health crisis, phone 0808 196 3779 to speak to a mental health professional 24/7

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Self Harm

If you need immediate help and are injured you should call 999. 

If you are thinking of harming yourself, you can also phone 0808 196 3779, the Nottinghamshire Mental Health Crisis Line, 24/7. SHOUT: is a free, confidential, anonymous text support service for anyone struggling to cope. Available 24/7. Text NOTTS to 85258.

Talking about self-harm can be really difficult, it might even seem impossible. If you are self-harming right now, try to speak to someone you trust about it. If you would prefer to talk to someone you don’t know, check out the ‘Talk to Someone About Your Mental Health’ link on this page.

What is self-harm?

Self-harm can mean something different to different people. It can look like: 

  • cutting yourself 
  • using drugs or alcohol to cope with your problems 
  • not eating, over-eating, or forcing yourself to throw up 
  • spending all your time on addictive behaviours like gaming, social media or gambling 
  • over-exercising and/or exercising when you are injured 
  • biting, hitting or burning yourself 
  • hitting walls 
  • getting into situations on purpose where you risk getting hurt, including fights or risky sexual behaviour 


Often self-harm brings a sense of temporary relief, but you also might have negative feelings after self-harm such a guilt, shame or fear of being found out. When difficult feelings start to build up again, you might feel like you must harm again, and it can be hard to break out of this cycle.  

Self-harm can become a habit and it can feel scary that you feel this is your only way to cope. But there are things you can do to stop self-harming and get better. And with support, you can learn other ways of coping when things feel too much. 

Things you can do to help 

There are also lots of things you can do in the moment to help you not self-harm. When you feel the urge to self-harm building, you could try to: 

  • go for a walk or do some gentle exercise 
  • distract yourself by focusing on your breathing 
  • text a friend and let them know you need them to help you take your mind off things 
  • play music and sing or dance along 
  • hold an ice cube 
  • write down your thoughts 
  • hit a cushion or pillow 
  • tear up a magazine or newspaper 
  • make a self-soothe box 
  • go to a public place like a park or a café 



What if a friend has shared suicidal thoughts with you?

Here are our tips for if a friend has shared suicidal thoughts with you: 

  • You can really help by just being there, listening and giving support 
  • Be open and honest. If you are worried about your friend’s safety you should tell an adult. Let your friend know that you are going to do this and you are doing it because you care about him or her 
  • Encourage your friend to get help. You can go with your friend or tell someone that he or she wants to know about it 
  • Get information from telephone helplines, websites, etc. This can help you understand what your friend is experiencing
  • Your friendship may be changed by the problem. You may feel bad that you can’t help your friend enough or guilty if you have had to tell other people. These feelings are common and don’t mean that you have done something wrong or not done enough 
  • Your friend may get angry with you or tell you that you don’t understand. It is important to try not to take this personally. Often, when people are feeling bad about themselves, they get angry with the people they are closest to
  • It can be difficult to look after someone who is having difficulties. It is important for you to talk to an adult who can support you. You may not always be able to be there for your friend, and that’s okay.



Get Help NowLearn More...

Get Help Now

Here are a list of services that can help with self harm. The icons below tell you the type of support available.

  • Text Text

Shout - text 'Notts' to 85258 for free 24/7 text support

City and County

age All Ages

  • Text Text

Young Minds Textline

City and County

age Under 18

  • In person In person

Nottinghamshire County CAMHS


age Under 18

  • In person In person

Nottingham City CAMHS


age Under 18

  • In person In person


City and County

age All Ages

  • In person In person
  • Web chat Web chat

Be U Notts

City and County

Excl. Bassetlaw

age 0 - 25

map marker - locate services near you

Which services can I access?

Some of the services available operate only within city or the wider county area. Pop your postcode in below to quickly check which services are available to you 

Related Topics

Here are some related mental health topics

Anxiety image

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Everyone gets anxious now and then and anxiety is actually your body giving you a message that you are not safe.

Depression or Low Mood

Everyone has ups and downs. Sometimes you might feel a bit low, for lots of different reasons. People may say that they are feeling depressed when they are feeling down, but this does not always mean that they have depression.

Suicidal Thoughts

If you are feeling down and can see no way out, remember you are not alone. Lots of people have felt like this and with the right help and support, they have been able to move past this. Talk to someone as soon as possible and let them know how you are feeling.

Obsessive Thoughts

Obsessions are specific thoughts that are intense and intrusive. It can feel like your thoughts are taking over and controlling your behaviour. Compulsions are ritual behaviours that people use to try to reduce anxiety linked to intrusive thoughts.

Bullying Image


Bullying is repeated behaviour intended to hurt someone emotionally or physically. Bullying is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other aspect such as appearance or disability.