Self-Injury Awareness Day (SIAD) occurs on 1st March every year, and has done so for seventeen years or more.
Raising awareness about self-injury is incredibly important. Awareness leads to understanding and empathy, banishing judgment and fear, and reducing the number of people who feel alone and suffer in silence. LifeSIGNS (Self-Injury Guidance & Network Support) is an online, user-led voluntary organization, founded in 2002 to create understanding about self-injury and is proud to have supported Self-Injury Awareness Day for well over a decade, and it is the number one resource for SIAD material. For more information, go to the Self Injury Awareness Day website.
Self-injury or self-harming is when people deliberately hurt themselves physically to deal with the emotional pain they are suffering.
When it comes to self-harm, cutting is thought of as the main way people hurt themselves. But burning, bruising and scratching are amongst other methods used by people who are distressed. Another misconception is that it’s mainly teenage girls who use this coping mechanism – people of both sexes and all ages, races and backgrounds are known to use it.
This mechanism can provide people with a sensation that ‘breaks feelings of numbness’ or emotional pain caused by issues such as low-self-esteem, trauma, perfectionism and abuse. A person can go on suffering like this while telling no-one and feeling unable to break the cycle.
It’s a perplexing phenomenon with many names-self-injury, self-harm, self-mutilation, self-inflicted violence, self-cutting, and self-abuse to name some. Furthermore, research suggests that it is a frequent companion to eating disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, and disassociate disorders
Talking about self-injury can be really hard. You might feel it’s easier to talk about ‘feelings” or your stress or the things that you feel are going wrong for you at the moment. In order to help someone move away from self-injury, treatment and help with the underlying emotional distress is the key. To learn more about self injury please visit The Self Injury Foundation at http://selfinjuryfoundation.org/self-injury-awareness-day.html
Complimentary, Confidential Screenings Available
If you or someone you know may be suffering from self-injury, it can be helpful to talk about these issues with others. It can be difficult to reach out for help, but it is often the first step to recovery and wellness – and recovery is possible!
Check yourself. This step takes fewer than 5 minutes and can make a big difference. A great place to start is a mental health check-up. The Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s NJMentalHealthCares Helpline offers free, anonymous online mental health screenings in cooperation with Mental Health America. Self-assessments are available for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, PTSD and bipolar disorder, as well as screens for youth and parents. Click here to take a mental health screening. After you complete a screening, you’ll receive customized feedback and be provided a zip code search to locate local assistance in determining next steps. You may even want to print out the results and review them with your healthcare provider.
Who Cares! We Do! The NJMentalHealthCares Helpline staff is available to assist with mental health screenings. The number to call is 1-866-202-HELP (4357) (TTY 1-877-294-4356). The screening only takes a few minutes and provides confidential results and information on where to find treatment.
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey strives for mental health for children and adults through advocacy, education, training, and services.