Self-harm is when someone inflicts pain on themselves in some way, often to cope with or as a relief from difficult feelings, or to feel in control.

Self-harm can take different forms:

  • Cutting or burning yourself
  • Pulling your hair out
  • Poisoning yourself
  • Using ligatures (this means binding or tying tightly, usually around the neck)
  • Severely restricting what you eat or eating far too much

Self-harm is also associated with risky behaviour where you put yourself in danger such as:

  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs so that you become ill
  • Over exercising so you become ill

Just Like Me?

If the above description sounds like you, then this is classed as self-harm.

You are not alone and there is help and support for you.

Self-harm can have lots of different causes such as:

  • Being bullied or abused
  • Being put under pressure
  • Feeling unable to cope
  • Bereavement
  • Being unhappy with yourself


  • Seek support when you are ready for it.
  • Tell a person you trust such as your parents, a teacher, youth leader, social worker
  • Seek immediate help if you have badly hurt yourself; you may need medical attention


  • - Feel you have to cope with everything by yourself. Everyone struggles at one time or another.
  • - Feel you are on your own; self-harm affects a lot of young people just like you, but there is support out there.

There are lots of people you can ask for support, but we know it can be difficult to open up and tell people about it. These resources might help you understand what you’re experiencing, and prepare you to take the step to get help:

The Young Minds website has a lot of helpful information about self-harm, and this leaflet tells you what to do if you are worried about self-harm.

If you want confidential advice about self-harm, you can contact Childline on 0800 1111.

Off the Record provide a free, confidential counselling service for young people in Tameside and Oldham aged 13-25. Visit their website or contact them on 0161 355 3553.

What to do if you are worried about a child

If you think a child is being abused or mistreated or you have concerns about a child’s well-being please contact one of the numbers shown on this page.

Your phone call could help to safeguard a child who may be at risk.

If the situation is immediately dangerous for the child then ring 999 and ask for the Police.

If the child is not in immediate danger contact:

Children's Hub

  • Monday to Friday during office hours - 0161 342 4101
  • Monday to Friday outside office hours and weekends and public holidays – 0161 342 2222
  • GM Procedures Manual
  • Safeguarding concerns can be reported to the Children's Hub using the Online Electronic Referral form