South Ayrshire Self-Harm Support Service provides sensitive and non-judgmental support to young people aged between 12-18 accessing education in South Ayrshire who may be at risk of self-harming behaviours. This new service is funded by South Ayrshire Children and Young People Mental Health and Wellbeing, and support will be delivered by Penumbra. People can access the service directly or can be referred by someone else, like for example a teacher or other professional in school.

About Penumbra
We are a leading mental health charity offering a range of support services across Scotland. Many of our services have been innovative or the first of their kind in Scotland as we aim to provide support that is responsive to the emerging and changing needs of people and communities. Our work is hallmarked by our whole person approach using our IROC Wellbeing Toolkit.

Our HOPE® framework for mental wellbeing remains the foundation of our approach and is actively underpinned by our values of courage, compassion, curiosity and collaboration. A focus on recovery remains the central theme in all that we do, whether this is delivering frontline services, raising awareness through public campaigns, or contributing to policy discussions and practice development within the wider sector. More about our work.

Understanding self-harm
We understand that it can be hard to deal with traumatic events, and that self-harming can feel like a way to cope. Self-harming behaviours can take many forms, including (but not limited to) cutting, burning, swallowing harmful objects, hair pulling, disordered eating and engaging in high risk activities.

How do we support young people?
Our team are here to provide compassionate support. We are trained in person centred planning techniques and can help you with tools and techniques to help keep you safe. We can offer 1:1 support sessions, and/or we can provide information to friends and family members. Alongside exploring self-harm we can also support you to look at other areas important to you, such as building self esteem, confidence and mental health and wellbeing.

I can talk about my issues in a non-judgmental environment. I love knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel

We can offer school support through group workshops and activities to bring people together; informed by your ideas. Additionally, monthly sessions will be available over the lifetime of the service to provide information and support for parents and carers of young people who may be self-harming.

I’m a young person – how do I access support?
Young people can access the service by completing a self-referral form. If you are the person wanting to access the service, please complete the online form. You also have the option to Download the Self-Referral Form and email it to us. If you have any questions about the form or want to know a little bit more about the service, you can contact the team directly on



Can a young person be referred by a third party?
Yes. If you are a teacher or other professional in school you can refer a young person. The person who is referring the young person should complete the online form below. You also have the option to Download the Third Party Referral Form and send the completed form to

third party referral


What happens after a referral?
We aim to respond to all referrals within 72 hours. We will contact you to arrange an informal meeting to explain more about the service we offer, how we could support you, and your options for moving forwards.

If you are worried about a friend or a family member and you would like to chat about how you can help your loved one, our team can support you.

If you have any general questions about the service please contact the team on

Useful resources

Parents Frequently Asked Questions

Helping young people understand Self-harm

Helping parents understand self-harm

Safety Plan for School Staff

Conversation Guide

West Area Office
Standard Buildings (Floor 6)
94 Hope Street
G2 6QB

T 0141 229 2580

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