Self harm – Alternate behaviors

Since year 2000 there has been a steady rise of self harm behaviour in teens1. Trying to replace self-harm with something less harmful works for some people. Encourage the young person to try a few of these to see if they work for them:

  • Wait 15 minutes before self harming
  • Hold ice cubes in their hand – cold causes pain but is not dangerous to their health
  • Wear rubber bands on their wrist to flick themselves when they feel like hurting themselves
  • Use a red pen to draw on the areas they might normally cut
  • Work it off with exercise, do something they enjoy
  • Eat a chilli
  • Take a deep breath and count to 10 or try deep breathing and relaxation exercises
  • Try to focus on something around them, something simple, watch it for a while and see if that can distract them from the negative thoughts
  • Talk to someone
  • Write in a journal, draw or express feelings in another way

Fly high!
Fly high!