my friend is self harming

Dear Suzie, my friend has been really upset lately. Shes been bottling up her feelings and won’t tell us whats wrong. She recently took 2 self-harming. I’m Really worried about her. Plese help.

It’s lovely having a good friend like you so she’s very lucky in that. But it’s not so good for you if you fall into the trap of believing she’s your responsibility and it’s up to you to sort out her life and what’s gone wrong with it. The reasons for self harming can be complicated and it can be quite a task helping someone work out why they do it and how they’re going to stop.

As a friend, you can’t and shouldn’t take that burden. What you can do is tell her you know she’s having a tough time and when things get on top of you, you’d ask for help. Say you’d like to be a listening ear and encourage her to talk, but know your limits. I’d suggest having a look at the National Self Harm Network’s website at .National Self Harm Network and drawing it to her attention.

If you’re still at school, tell your parents what is happening and a trusted teacher and ask them to look at the website and take action. Be there for her as a friend but don’t expect to be able to be her therapist.

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