Q: How do you tell someone you aren’t okay and that you need support?
A: This can be done in several ways depending on how comfortable you are with talking about your mental health. A chat with a friend or family member about how you are feeling is a great way to let them know you are feeling like some extra support would be helpful. If you struggle with a direct approach as the aforementioned, you can send a text or email which allows you to express yourself without feeling under pressure to open up in front of someone
Of course, this method needs to be done appropriately, making sure not to frighten the person receiving the message. Often our close friends and family members are able to notice when someone isn’t quite feeling themselves, this can be a gateway into opening up the conversation for discussion. Try to remember that how you are feeling is totally valid and by opening up you are starting the road to recovery.
Q: What are some coping mechanisms to divert emotions of self-harm?
A: There are many different ways that people divert their emotions from homing in on the thought of self-harm. Distraction is probably the one I would recommend the most, this can be achieved in so many ways. Try engaging in an activity that you really enjoy doing, so for myself it would be playing my xbox or listening to some vinyl. There are many activities that you can do to take your mind off things, from word-searches, going on walks, exercising, cooking, having a bath, writing, listening to music, seeing friends and family! The list goes on. I know for me, distraction was a key player in what I did to get rid of those mumbling nags that self-harm often give us. If you are unable to motivate yourself to do any of the above, try chatting to someone. This can be a friend, family member, or a member of the Samaritans. This conversation doesn’t have to focus on your thoughts of self-harm, it can be a discussion around anything, in doing-so you keep busy and focused on things other than your thoughts of self-harm. If things get too much and you start to feel unsafe do talk to someone, surround yourself with others, or implement the coping mechanisms you have in place for when the thoughts become unmanageable.