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Home > Health Library > Teens: Being There for a Friend Who Self-Injures
It's tough to have a friend who self-injures, or hurts themself on purpose. You may feel worried about your friend. And you may be wondering what to do. You can't stop your friend from self-injuring, but you can be there for them.
Here are some ways to support your friend.
Your friend can talk to an adult they trust, such as a counselor, a parent, or a faith leader. If this is too hard for your friend, you can offer to talk to someone for them.
Self-injury is serious. Sometimes people who self-injure may also be thinking about suicide. So it's important to let someone know. This is to keep your friend safe.
If your friend wants to talk, do so in a place that's safe and private. If you feel upset, first take some time to calm yourself. If it feels right, ask some questions. And listen closely to the answers. This can help your friend feel better understood.
When you're together, focus on your friend and not the self-injury. Have fun together. Do the things you like to do. For example, listen to music, go for walks, dance, or play a game.
It's not easy to have a friend who hurts themself. If you're feeling worn-out, it's okay to take short breaks from your friend now and then. And you may want to talk to someone, like a counselor.
One resource you could try is the Self-injury Outreach and Support website. Go to sioutreach.org to learn more. The site has personal stories, videos, and other tips on how to help a friend.
If it's an emergency, call 911.
Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
If you or someone you know talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away. You can:
Consider saving these numbers in your phone.
Current as of:
February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health
Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health
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