March 1, 2012

Self-Injury Awareness Day

** NOTE!! Even because of the subject, this post does NOT contain disturbing images or photos!! **

The orange ribbon of self harm awareness.

On every year, the 1st of March is designated as Self-Injury Awareness Day (SIAD) around the world.  It's a time when we can all come together to help raise awareness about self-injury and self-harm. Wear an orange ribbon for Self-Injury Awareness Day if you or someone you know has been affected by self-injury or self-harm. Today I wear a ribbon myself.

SIAD has been running for many years, and has become more and more popular in the UK over the last few years. It’s still a grassroots annual global awareness event / campaign. On this day, and in the weeks leading up to it, some people choose to be more open about their own self-harm, and awareness organizations make special efforts to raise awareness about self-harm and self-injury. Some people wear an orange awareness ribbon, wristband or beaded bracelet to encourage awareness of self-harm. The goal of the people who observe SIAD is to break down the common stereotypes surrounding self-harm and to educate medical professionals and people in general about the condition.

Please reach out to someone. Whether you self-harm, if someone you know self-harms, if someone who’s dealing with self-harm or someone who has dealt with self-harm. Your story matters and needs to be shared.

Don’t judge people who self
-harm but try to help and understand them - that’s what they will need. What people, who are self-harming, need is support. People who knows a person who self-injures and people in general needs information and facts rather than assumptions. Many seems to think it's just teenage girls or emos who cut - but they should think again, but it could be anyone older or younger, a female or a male, a student or an engineer or anyone else.

Cutting is cutting - whether the cut is deep or not. It needs to be taken seriously.

Surprisingly many people self-harm. The number may be higher because people keep it to themselves. Many self-injurers hide it because they may feel ashamed, alone and scared. And what many may think is that it is a suicide attempt. It's not a suicide attempt. Most self-harmers aren't suicidal. Other than being a suicide attempt, it's more like a coping strategy. To help them cope with difficult feelings, such as depression, despair, self hatred, shame, grief, loneliness, stress, abuse and bullying. Someone may think that one cut just to get attention. In some cases this may be, because sometimes self-harm may be a cry for help without precisely seeking attention with (some can, people are different and self-harm by different reasons). Someone may be scared that someone will notice, but when they do, they find themselves kind of glad that someone are noticing their despair and someone is willing to listen and help.

It may start as “simple” as that, but in the end it becomes a problem of its own - It's an addiction. The self-injurers often feels they can't get help. Because of the stigma and what people think, because they are ashamed, because they don't want to hurt the ones they love.

But you are not alone with this addiction and that there are always people willing to listen and help you. There are. Don’t let it sound cliché – and even if it sounds like it that doesn’t make it any less true.

So remember! On each year, March 1st is Self-Injury Awareness Day - wear ORANGE to help support self-injury, and spread some awareness.

I’ve written this, so please don’t copy this straight away – if you want to distribute this text, please do add the source (this site). Thank you!

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