4 steps to change

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  • Keep yourself safe from self-harm




  • Whether you have just started harming or have been for a while, try some of the techniques in our ACT section to make change
  • Try and think about what your self-harm is expressing.
    • If it’s COMFORTING see if you can do alternative comforting actions instead – for example, have a bath, cuddle someone or something, do something relaxing, listen to some music you like.


    • If it RELEASES FEELINGS, try some other outlets of feeling release instead – for example, talk to someone, exercise, write down how you feel, draw your emotion


  • If it RELEASES TENSION, try another way to release tension instead – for example listen to some very loud music, rip some paper, ‘ping’ a rubber band on your wrist. PRACTICE for at least 5 minutes
  • DISTRACT yourself from the temptation to self-harm. Do something – go for a walk, give yourself something difficult to do. Sit it out – the urge will pass.



  • Why not download our Calm Harm app?
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    • This clinician developed smart phone app can be downloaded free from the App Store or Google Play. Its private and has a range of tasks you can do to help manage the urge to self-harm. You can also add your own self-soothing strategies to help personalise it.
  • Now you’ve made a difference work on your strategy to maintain this over the long term. Remember long term could be a day for some, a week for others and months for others. No one gets it right immediately. Keep trying – you will get there either with your own inner strength or with the help of others. There is help available

Try it. Give yourself a seven day period to put into action. If you have success, try another seven days. Build up to 30 days.