Suicide Prevention/Friends cutting?

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Question
Hi. So me and my friends have this chat thing set up where we can ask each other anonymous questions. I asked my friends if any of them had ever cut themselves and got 2 responses saying 'yes' out of four of us. I have further talked with my friends but they are both very against therapy. Me and my other friend have friend but she won't go. I don't know what to do. Please help! Me and my friends are all 13.

Answer
At least you\'re not a probiscus monkey!
At least you're not a  
Hi Ashley,

Wow.. I am stunned! Two out of four? It shocks me how prevalent self harming has become. 13 is a confusing, difficult age for most people. It may take time before your friends feel they are ready to get help.. and may not even recognize that they have a potentially very serious problem. You say they won't consider therapy.. but perhaps they might be open to joining a support group of some kind, even online, whereby they can learn more about the condition of self harming, what leads to it, how to manage it, etc. Ashley many teenagers who self harm have had troubled childhoods, often involving sexual about or other sorts of pain that is difficult for a young person to make sense of and process. Your friends *do* need help, and I'm so glad you recognise this.

I will get back to you after the weekend with some resources that you can share with your friends. It's up to them whether they seek help in the end, but if they choose not to it would be wise for you to keep an eye out for them and TELL somebody you feel you can trust.. your guidance counseller at school.. or a teacher you feel you can talk to. Your parents would be a good place to start, if you are able to confide in them, and trust them.         

I'd like to commend you on being so smart and switched on Ashley. You are a wonderful, caring, responsible friend - and your friends are very lucky to have somebody like you in their lives! You're a good person, and should feel very proud of yourself for taking the initiative to get your friends help instead of ignoring the situation.  

Speak to you in a few days with some useful info and resources for your friends
Ashley.

Love from Rachel :)  

Suicide Prevention

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Rachel Hurst

Expertise

All questions sent to me will receive a warm and caring response. I'll do my utmost to address a persons particular problem, but in most cases will also attempt to supply that individual with additional resources which might be of further benefit. There are many helpful online support groups where readers can benefit from the ongoing support of others who have suffered similar problems. These groups offer invaluable peer support from others who have 'been there'. As well as responding to your initial letter, I'll attempt to provide ongoing encouragement when this is needed. Advice will be focused on addressing the writers individual needs, and providing related information and resources. I would try to ensure that any person seeking advice has accurate and up-to-date information on the signs and symptoms of depression, and importantly, is made aware that help is available through many different avenues. Where I feel that it's relative and helpful I would mention my own life experiences with depression and coping with a loved one's suicide (however, only in context.) I would be on the lookout for warning signs that the person is in crisis and may require immediate intervention. As such I would arm myself with as much information as possible in order to refer them to the help they need. In cases where I believed the persons life to be in imminent danger I would contact authorities in their area, or if unknown, I would call the emergency services in my area in order for the person to be located through tracking.

Experience

I am by no means a trained professional. My knowledge comes mainly through life experience, having endured the devastating loss of my best friend through suicide, as well as my own subsequent battle with depression following his death. I found that my own experience of losing a loved one to suicide put me in a strong position to help others, due to my ability to empathize (as opposed to sympathizing). I became knowledgeable on the topic of grief, and the extensive repertoire of depressive illnesses, signs, symptoms, and treatment options available to people in crisis.

Organizations
S.O.L.O.S. Survivors of Loved Ones Suicide - Active member since 2003.

Publications
'Marie Claire' Australian, 'Cleo' (Australian), Online discussion forums (in which my submissions have stimulated discussion and generated much feedback).

Education/Credentials
I am a professional writer. I was trained in journalism. Please see my profile in Linked In. http://au.linkedin.com/pub/rachel-hurst/41/178/165 I have studied related subjects during training as a registered nurse. Both of my parents are mental health professionals. However most of reading widely and life experience has been my greatest teacher.

Past/Present Clients
I have helped a number of individuals who have sought my take on a particular problem, or whom I have felt concern for, for various reasons.

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