Information and guidance in British Sign Language (BSL)

BSL Introduction

Welcome to Self-Harm Network Scotland’s BSL page.

We are working to improve the accessibility of our services and information and have created this page to mark the beginning of this work.

On this page, you will find BSL translations of resources around self-harm, as well as BSL translations from conversations our peer practitioners have had on key topics around self-harm and their experience of self-harm, as well as how they have supported people.

What is Self-Harm?

At Self-Harm Network Scotland, we define self-harm as any non-accidental behaviour which causes or has the potential to cause harm to a person. Watch this video to find out more.

Self-Harm and Suicide

There is a stigma associated with self-harm that people who self-harm are suicidal. While we know that anyone who is experiencing extreme distress could be at risk of suicide, we also know that it is not always the case that everyone who self-harms feels suicidal. Watch this video to learn more.

Stereotypes of Self-Harm

There are a lot of stereotypes about self-harm and what types of people self-harm. We see examples in the media and on social media and assume that everyone who self-harms fits into the same categories. This video explains how self-harm is not tailor made to one specific gender or age group.

Signs of Self-Harm

Those that support people are often worried that they don’t know what to look out for if they think someone may be self-harming. This video gives examples of some signs that can indicate if someone may be harming themselves.

Severity and Distress

Another important topic to discuss around self-harm is the idea that the severity of the self-harm reflects the amount of distress a person is in. From our experience, this is not the case.

Watch this video to find out more. 

Functions of Self-Harm

Self-Harm is a coping strategy which helps people deal with distressing thoughts and emotions. One of the main things to remember is that self-harm has purpose as a coping strategy. The purpose of self-harm is often known as the function of self-harm. Watch this video to learn more. 

Attention Seeking

‘Attention Seeking’ is a phrase that is often heard in relation to self-harm. Everybody, at some point in their life, needs and craves attention and there’s nothing wrong with that. This video explains how self-harm can help people to communicate with others and let them know that they need support.

Cycle of Self-Harm

Self-Harm can help release overwhelming thoughts and emotions, and can allow a person to feel present and connected to reality again. However, the release of these overwhelming emotions is often only temporary, and when the original overwhelming emotions return, this can lead to further self-harm. 

Watch this video for more information about the cycle of self-harm. 

Starting The Conversation

Having conversations about mental health can be difficult and self-harm can be especially difficult to talk about. It is a very personal and emotional topic. This video provides some tips on how to start a conversation about self-harm. 

Try to...Try Not To

There is lots of advice out there about how to respond to self-harm. Watch this video to get some quick tips to help you know which responses may be helpful, and what might not be so helpful when supporting someone you are working with who is self-harming.

First Aid Tips

Watch this video for first aid tips. For severe cuts or burns, shock, drowsiness or unconsciousness, please call 999.

Looking After Yourself

Having conversations with someone about their self-harm can be extremely difficult. As the loved one of someone who self-harms, it can be very stressful and can take a toll on your own mental health and wellbeing.

Watch this video for tips on how to look after yourself while you are supporting someone who self-harms. 

Self-Harm FAQ's For Loved Ones

Parents, carers, family members and friends often have a lot of questions about self-harm. 

This video provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear, including ‘How can I help?’ and ‘Will they eventually stop self-harming?’

Self-Harm FAQ's for Professionals

Professionals who are supporting other people often have a lot of questions about self-harm. This video provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear, including ‘How can I help?’ and ‘Will they eventually stop self-harming?’

Your Recovery Journey

At Self-Harm Network Scotland, we provide person-centred recovery focused support for people who self-harm. We understand that recovery looks different for everyone, and we are committed to supporting you on your individual recovery journey. Watch this video to find out more.

Peer Support

At Self-Harm Network Scotland, we champion lived experience and peer support. What’s special about our service is that when you reach out, you will be getting support from a peer practitioner who understands what you are going through. 

Watch this video to find out more about the importance of peer support.

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