As self-harm or self-injury statistics continue to grow, especially among young people, it is important to raise awareness regarding this topic and show support for those who experience self-harm. Self Injury Awareness Day provides an opportunity to reach out to people who do self harm and educate those who do not.
History of Self Injury Awareness Day
Self Injury Awareness Day (SIAS) started as a grassroots effort to get more people educated about and supporting those who experience self-harm. Also referred to as Self Harm Awareness Day, this event brings to light and normalizes conversation around a challenging topic that may be difficult for people to talk about at other times.
With the encouragement to share stories when it feels safe, make posts in support of the day on social media, or get involved in other ways, the hope for Self Injury Awareness Day is to remove the fear and stigma around the conversation and create a space of understanding and compassion.
Whether on Self Injury Awareness Day or any time throughout the year, those who are experiencing the desire to self-harm, or know someone who is, should consider reaching out to a professional to learn more about how to get help or be helpful to someone else.
How to Observe Self Injury Awareness Day
Show care and support in a wide range of ways by gaining knowledge and taking action in honor of Self Injury Awareness Day with some of these ideas:
Connect with The Butterfly Project
One way that people might want to participate in Self Injury Awareness Day is to learn about and get involved with The Butterfly Project. This is part of a larger social movement that is designed to support people who are suffering as they journey toward healing, as the butterfly is a symbol of transformation.
The idea is that the person who is suffering, whether from self-jury or thoughts around it, can draw a butterfly on a part of their body that they feel compelled to harm. Some like to name the butterfly after a person or pet they love and then avoid hurting it. For many people, this approach offers a positive alternative to harm-prevention strategies.
Learn More About Self Injury
One of the best ways to get more involved in the day is to grow in knowledge and understanding of self-harm and self-injury. Consider some of these important things to know:
Self-harm is not about getting attention or being dramatic but more likely a way to handle stress
Skin cutting is a common form of self-harm but other forms include hitting, burning, headbanging and more
People who view self-harm content online may be more likely to replicate the behavior
Treatment for self-injury may involved therapy and/or medication
Support a Mental Health Charity
Those who want to make a financial donation to support a charitable organization that promotes mental health may find Self Injury Awareness Day is an ideal time to do so. Consider volunteering or providing financial support to a local organization that helps teens, or connect with a large-scale non-profit like the Adolescent Self Injury Foundation, Big Give, To Write Love on Her Arms, and many others.