I know someone who’s dealing with self-injury

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If you know someone who is self-injuring, try to understand that self-injury is part of a larger problem that your friend needs to deal with. Be patient and remember it’s not your fault.

How can I help a friend who’s self-injuring?

You can help a friend who is self-injuring by:

  • Reaching out: let your friend know you’re worried. Say, “I want you to feel better.” Don’t get upset if they aren’t ready to talk. Knowing that you care is important.
  • Listening: try not to judge your friend or tell them what to do. You can say things like, “I know you’re going through a lot right now.” Don’t simply tell your friend to look on the bright side.
  • Respecting their choice: if your friend doesn’t want to talk about their self-injuring, respect their decision. Try to do normal things together. Just having fun with you may help your friend feel better.
  • Sharing information: show your friend resources that you find helpful.
  • Reading up: you may want to learn more about self-injuring in order to help your friend. But remember; reading about self-injury can be difficult. Don’t force yourself to read information that makes you feel uncomfortable. Taking care of yourself is just as important as helping your friend.
  • Being a team: if your friend is ready to speak to a counsellor, offer to help. Go with them to talk to someone like a teacher, guidance counsellor or coach.
  • Taking care of yourself: speak to a safe adult if you’re struggling with your emotions or worried about your friend. Talking to a counsellor or Kids Help Phone might help you understand why your friend is self-injuring.
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