If your life is in danger, call the police at 110

Self Harm

Self-harm is an act of intentionally harming oneself. For some, it is a way to cope with difficult situations or intense emotions, such as sadness, anger, fear, and anxiety, while for others, it can be a form of self-punishment or a way to seek help from others. 

Self-harming can take many different forms, including cutting, burning, scratching, using or increasing use of alcohol and drugs, and overexercising. Self-harming behaviour can affect anyone, but it is more common amongst adolescents. In Japan, studies have shown that about 14% of female high school students have engaged in some form of self-harm.

Self-harm isnt a mental health problem and is usually not done with the intent of suicide, but sometimes people who self harm may have suicidal thoughts. Self-harm is commonly associated with a range of mental health conditions such as

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Paranoid schizophrenia 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Eating disorders

It is often also associated with experiences such as:

  • Physical or sexual abuse .
  • Relationship problems with partners, friends, and family. 
  • Being unemployed, or having difficulties at work. 

  • Feeling misunderstood or unheard.
  • Feeling hopeless. 
  • Feeling isolated or alone. 
  • Feeling that you have no power or control over your life. 

While self-harm can temporarily serve to escape intense and difficult emotions and release endorphins, it can cause severe injuries, and sometimes become a repetitive act. Beginning a conversation about self-harm can be difficult, but calling our confidential lifeline is one way you can start getting the support you need. If you are in immediate need of medical help, contact emergency services at 119.

Finding alternative ways to cope with self-harm can also be helpful. Understanding the triggers that create the urge to self-harm and what you are seeking from it, whether that be the physical sensation or feeling in control is important. One alternative coping skill may not always work for every situation, but  developing a safety plan that may include a variety of strategies and supports that work best for you can help. 


“Self Harm.” Lifeline, www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/information-and-support/self-harm/.

“Self-Harm.” NAMI, https://nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Common-with-Mental-Illness/Self-harm

“Self-Injury (Cutting, Self-Harm or Self-Mutilation).” Mental Health America, www.mhanational.org/conditions/self-injury-cutting-self-harm-or-self-mutilation.



Self Injury Support 

  • Offers confidential crisis helpline specifically for women struggling with self-harm (UK, not toll-free) 
  • Also offers an email and web chat support that can be accessed internationally but web chat is temporarily closed 



  • Online self-harm support forum open 24/7
  • Includes distraction suggestions/advices and some information on self-harm, eating disorders and suicide     


Cornell Self-Injury & Recovery Resources 

  • Includes resources on self-harm support, specifically ways people can recognize, intervene, and support others that self-harm, as well as coping and recovery resources



  • Offers resources, videos, and guides on self-harm, has different resources catered towards friends and family, school professionals and mental health professionals as well 
  • Based in Canada 
  • http://sioutreach.org/

Lifeline Australia

Calm Harm 

  • Free app that helps with coping/resisting the urge to self-harm
  • UK based, available in Japan 

The Mix 

  • Helpline based in the UK for users under 25 
  • Has a phone, email and chat service (unsure if chat works internationally) 
  • Includes discussion boards and group chats categorized into different topics