March 1st, 2019 is Self-Injury/Harm Awareness Day (SIAD). This day was created to raise awareness to growing topic if self-harm. The Mayo Clinic defines self-injury as “the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself” and is “a harmful way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration” (website link). The most common methods of self-harm are: skin cutting, head banging/hitting, and/or burning. According to Mental Health America, “self-injury occurs in approximately as many as 4% of adults in the United States. Rates are higher among adolescents, who seem to be at an increased risk for self-injury, with approximately 15% of teens reporting some form of self-injury. Studies show an even higher risk for self-injury among college students, with rates ranging from 17%-35%” (website link). Additionally, according to the Mayo of one aspect of their lives or to provide a distraction from painful emotions.
With these astounding numbers, we as a society, need to raise awareness of self-injury. With awareness comes understanding and empathy for those who suffer from engaging in self-harm. If it becomes less of a stigma to discuss, then hopefully it will reduce the judgement and fear for those who suffer from self-harming. It is hoped that the more we discuss this topic, the more those who feel alone and suffer in silence will come forward to start the healing process.
Here at the Center for Behavioral Health, the clinicians and staff want to work with those who self-harm to support them in learning better coping skills to use when life gets too overwhelming. Also, just by being able to talk to someone and feel heard and validated can really helpful in allowing someone to release often bottled emotions. If you or someone you know is struggling with self-harm please reach out to the Center for Behavioral Health at 502-792-7011 or send us an email at [email protected].
“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
– The Buddha