Info and Advice


If you or someone you know is self-harming, or is thinking about self-harming, there is support available.
A teenage girl sits looks traumatised and afraid

What is self-harm?

Self-harm is when a person causes physical pain to themselves.

This can be done in ways including: cutting, burning, biting, punching objects or themselves, pulling out hair, scratching skin, poisoning.

If you are self-harming, or you know someone who is self-harming, help is available. Is there a trusted adult you can talk to about how you are feeling? Childline is always here to listen to you and support you.

Talking helps!


1800 66 66 66





Why do people self-harm?

Self-harm is most often used as a way to cope with difficult experiences and the feelings connected with them.

People who self-harm may have experienced:

Bullying or discrimination


Relationship difficulties or a break-up


Illness or disability

How can a person who is self-harming feel:

A sense of guilt

Low self-esteem

Depression and anxiety



I am self-harming

If you're hurting yourself or have thoughts about self-harming, remember you don't have to go through this on your own. There is help available and there are people who care about you. Childline is always here to listen to you and support you. 

My friend is self-harming

It can be difficult to understand why someone would want to harm themselves. It's normal to feel shocked, angry, sad or even confused about this. 

It is important to let your friend know that there is support available. 

It is also important for you to get adult support if you find out that a friend is self-harming. You do not have to go through this alone. 


How can I get help?

You have the right to get help and support. You are not alone.

Talking can help you to explore your difficulties and find healthier, more positive ways to cope with the pain you feel inside. It can help to talk with an adult you trust, or with a professional. 

Pieta House offers face-to-face support to people who are concerned about self-harm. You can find your nearest Pieta House here.

More information about self-harm is available here.

You can find out more about getting help here.

These links will bring you away from the Childline website. You can press the back button on your device to come back to the Childline site. 

Contact Childline

Childline is always here to listen and to support you. You can call Childline on 1800 66 66 66 (24 hours a day), text Childline on 50101 (10am – 4am every day) or chat with Childline online

Talking helps!


1800 66 66 66