#talkingisharmless – Self Harm Awareness Day 2019


For Self Harm Awareness Day 2019, our Aberdeen Self Harm Project will be distributing copies of our ‘Working with Self Harm’ toolkit to schools throughout Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee and Moray. This was made possible by a generous donation from STV Children’s Appeal.

The toolkit include information for parents, teachers and pupils, on how to spot self-harm and support someone self-harming.

The toolkit is in two sections: ‘Information’ and ‘Tools’

The information section is aimed at parents, professionals and anyone who is supporting a person who self-harms.

Increase awareness and understanding of what self harm is. Help people to feel more confident about recognising potential indicators of self- harm.

  • Increase awareness and understanding of what self harm is
  • Help people to feel more confident about recognising potential indicators of self harm
  • Explore how we can respond to self harm in a sensitive, compassionate and supportive manner
  • Help people feel more confident about supporting people to explore alternative coping strategies to self harm

The tools section comprises a variety of wellbeing worksheets and resources, which may be helpful to someone who is struggling with self harm. The aim is that through using these tools people will:

  • Feel empowered to explore their thoughts, feelings and behaviours relating to self harm
  • Improve their own understanding of their relationship with self harm
  • Be able to identify triggers to self harm
  • Explore ways to manage risk and improve safety
  • Consider ways of challenging negative and self-critical thoughts
  • Improve communication about self harm
  • Identify sources of support and coping strategies

Cheryl Thomson, Assistant Support Manager at the Aberdeen Self Harm Support Service said:

“We were delighted to receive a grant from the STV Children’s Fund.  We chose to use the grant to distribute copies of our ‘Working with Self Harm’ toolkit to secondary schools in our local area, as we felt that this would be a positive way to reach out to as many young people as possible.”

“We hope that by the toolkits being widely available in secondary schools, that young people will have the opportunity to explore their thoughts and feelings relating to self harm; to identify triggers to self harm; and to explore sources of support and coping strategies.”

“Self harm is a topic that can often be difficult to talk about, and we hope that the toolkits will help to facilitate discussion and increase awareness around self harm.”


Penumbra would also like to use this opportunity to raise awareness and open conversations on self harm with our hashtag #talkingisharmless

Penumbra launched the #talkingisharmless hashtag last year and hope to build upon the success of sharing mental health experiences.

#talkingisharmless is an opportunity for people to share their experience of self harm across social media and help to raise awareness for a condition which is usually hidden by its sufferers.

We hope that people will search for the hashtag, find the stories on social media and share them with their friends and family to help raise awareness.

Penumbra’s Chief Executive, Nigel Henderson, said:

“For over 25 years we have been offering support to people who self harm. People now feel more able to talk about their mental health, but we know that many of those who self harm feel alone and are discriminated against. #talkingisharmless is our message on Self Harm Awareness Day, asking you to take time to talk to, and listen to, friends or family who might be having a difficult time.”


Penumbra currently runs four self harm services based in Aberdeen, Fife, Edinburgh and North Ayrshire respectively.

If you’d like to find out more about self harm, we have produced several articles to answer some common questions:


Join in the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – #talkingisharmless