How to stop self-harming: Learn coping skills that help you thrive

Each year, Crisis Text Line exchanges millions of messages with people looking for help from the free mental health support service. 

Nearly a quarter of its conversations with youth involve texters 13 years old or younger who’ve been hurting themselves. In other words, almost one in four middle-schoolers or elementary school children who reach out to Crisis Text Line are talking about self-harm. 

Those children likely feel like they can’t get support elsewhere, because self-harm is a vastly misunderstood phenomenon, even sometimes to those who engage in the practice. Bystanders often look at self-harm, which can include cutting, burning, or hitting oneself, and wrongly assume it’s attention-seeking or manipulative behavior. They might mistake those acts as a form of attempting suicide, yet many people who hurt themselves have no desire to die and many are never suicidal. For the person who self-harms, it can be confusing and disorienting to find comfort in something that seems so destructive.  Read more…

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