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Self-injury awareness  




Welcome to the month of march where this month we will be looking into self-injury. I want to bring awareness, warning signs, and how to help someone you know that may engage in these activities. 

What is self-injury? 

Self-injury is a coping mechanism in reaction to negative emotions, where you harm your body either by cutting,, burning scratching or any many other harmful ways. It is also known as non-suicidal self-injury because  many individuals choose to self-injure vs completing a suicide. 

Warning signs 

  • Keeping sharp objects or anything else to harm. 

  • Scars (often in patterns) 

  • Fresh wounds (cuts, bruises, bite marks, bones etc.) 

  • Behavior changes like impulsivity or intensity. 

  • Hopeless, helpless, and worthless thoughts. 

  • Wearing clothes to cover up especially in hotter temperatures. 

  • Sleeping too much or not at all.  

  • Withdrawn physical appearance such as sunken in eyes or appearing disheveled 

  • Changes in appetite or weight 

How can I help someone who is self-injuring? 

It can be hard to know what to do in these situations. You may find yourself shocked at first and maybe sad or hurting for the person in your life. In that situation you want to evaluate not only what’s good for the other person but for you as well. You must know how much you can take on to gage when it is the right time to steer your friend/family/loved one/coworker to a counselor. There is only so much you can do and that is ok. Knowing the signs, however, can be a start for a conversation, to see what’s going on in their life and to let them know that you are there for them and they are not alone. These conversations can be hard to find a balance is important in giving the right help they need. Below are resources that can help if you feel like you alone is not what they need

24/7 Hotlines you can call or text: 

 • Dial 988, National Lifeline for mental health emergencies 

  •Maryland Crisis Hotline: 800-422-0009 

  •Anna Arundel County Crisis hotline: 410-768-5522 

  •Baltimore County Crisis Response: 410-931-2214 

   •Baltimore City Crisis Response: 410-433-5255 

    •Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 

     •Howard County Grassroots Hotline: 410-531-6677 

     •Maryland Crisis Hotline: 800-422-0009 

      •National Lifeline Hotline: 800-273-8255(TALK)  

       •Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 

 

 

Resources: 

- sidra.ghazali@topagency.com. “Self-Injury Awareness Day.” National Today, 14 Dec. 2021, https://nationaltoday.com/self-injury-awareness-day/

-“Self-Injury/Cutting - Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 6 Apr. 2023, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/self-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20350950

 

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