Signs of self-harm in children and teenagers
It’s difficult to recognise the signs of self-harm in children and young people.
Signs to look out for include:
- covering up, for example by wearing long sleeves a lot of the time, especially in summer
- unexplained bruises, cuts, burns or bite-marks on their body
- blood stains on clothing, or finding tissues with blood in their room
- becoming withdrawn and spending a lot of time alone in their room
- avoiding friends and family and being at home
- feeling down, low self-esteem or blaming themselves for things
- outbursts of anger, or risky behaviour like drinking or taking drugs.
Further information from the NSPCC can be found here
Links to further support and information can be found below:
These organisations offer information and support for anyone who self-harms or thinks about self-harm, or their friends and family:
- Mind – call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463 (9am to 6pm on weekdays)
- Harmless – email [email protected]
- Self-injury Support (for women and girls)
- CALM (for men)
- Young Minds Parents Helpline – call 0808 802 5544 (9.30am to 4pm on weekdays)
- National Self Harm Network forums
If you struggle with suicidal thoughts or are supporting someone else, the Staying Safe website provides information on how to make a safety plan. It includes video tutorials and online templates to guide you through the process.
You could also download the free distrACT app. This gives you easy, quick and discreet access to information and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts.