Self-Harm in Schools

Posted on March 01, 2017 by Lahna Pottle
Categories: Primary, Secondary, 16-19s,

Helen Cutteridge who is a mental health worker in schools in Luton helps us to prepare for Self-Harm Awareness Day by looking at lesson plans and assemblies for teachers. She shares her expertise and passion for thos who self-harm through practical ideas.

What can we do in schools to raise awareness and support students…

Today, the 1st of March, is Self-Harm awareness day and it is the perfect opportunity for schools and youth groups to raise awareness and talk about an issue that impacts approx. 13% of teenagers. We want to give you a few tips and activities that you could do to talk to your young people about this issue, as well as what we can do to support the young people we work with who self-harm.

Conversation starter

Assemblies are an opportunity to get a whole year group, or even a school, together to speak about a certain subject, this video here can be used as an engaging assembly starter. 

SelfharmUK one of Youthscape's national projects has lots of posters, playing cards and postcards. Having items like these around the school shows people that you have an understanding that self-harm is an issue that you are happy and willing to talk to them about. 

There are also charities like To Write Love On Her Arms who run twitter campaigns and sell clothes/merchandise which you can engage with on a simple awareness raising level.


If you have the time to engage deeper with this subject then please do. If you know of any specific individuals who are struggling with self-harm then you could arrange to do 1:1 work with them, or encourage them to join Alumina, our online support group for 14-18 year olds. You can find out more about Alumina at 

We also have Talking About Emotions Playing Cards that can be used to ask questions and explore the answers together. These are ideal when working with young people who struggle to open up and talk freely. You can also create your own by simply writing questions onto cards in a 52 deck of playing cards. 

Remember when we talk about self-harm it is a coping mechanism and so those young people who are struggling with it need our support and acceptance and not to be treated like it’s something to be ashamed off. Opening up the conversation helps to break the stigma and makes it easier to ask for help. 

For more information around self harm and mental wellbeing visit: