Self-harm should always be taken seriously. Although self-harm is generally not intended to be a deliberate attempt to end one’s life, there is an elevated risk of suicide in individuals who self-harm.  

Self-harm may be an attempt to express or briefly control those feelings. Self-harm may indicate an underlying mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress, or a history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, or breakdown of relationship with peers and family. It does not typically resolve these feelings, however, and can become dangerous. It is important to note that some self-injuries may require immediate medical attention. 

Some individuals may find the support of their friends and family beneficial. A counsellor, psychologist or doctor can help to explore options for managing difficult thoughts, the needs of the individuals and modifiable risks. It is possible to learn to manage complex or intense feelings in ways that don’t cause harm to oneself, and to promote a person’s social and emotional wellbeing.