In Solidarity With Those Who Self-Harm

We know you keep the harm for yourself because you use it to feel or believe you deserve it, or be in control. Self-harm happens regardless of gender and for more reasons than most people realize.

Today, Open Thought Vortex would like to honor individuals who have struggled or are struggling with self-harm in its various forms.

Self-harm (SH) or deliberate self-harm (DSH) includes self-injury (SI) and self-poisoning and is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue most often done without suicidal intentions.

see full article on Wikipedia

Shareen, Shawna and many of our readers are wearing black ribbons around our wrists or otherwise keeping solidarity with self-harm survivors. If you are a survivor, please know that you are safe here. We believe in you, and we wish you good health and safety that stems from within yourself.

We know you can’t just snap your fingers and be okay, but we believe you deserve your own love. The greatest war we ever fight is the war to love ourselves.

Self-harm is a dangerous practice. With that in mind, we offer the following resources to anyone who needs them, be they parent, friend or self-harm practitioner. The following come from the Cornell Research Program website. We encourage you to visit their page for a more comprehensive list of resources organized by category and need. Find it here. 


  • Behavioral Tech, LLC trains mental health care providers and treatment teams who work with complex populations to use compassionate, scientifically valid treatments and to implement and evaluate these treatments in their practice setting. Their website has a variety of helpful resources including a therapist directory.

  • SAFE Alternatives® (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) (1-800-366-8288) is a nationally recognized treatment approach, professional network and educational resource base, which is committed to helping achieve an end to self-injurious behavior. S.A.F.E. Focus Group is a self injury support group based off of the S.A.F.E. Alternatives Program. For further information, please e-mail S.A.F.E. Alternatives also provides information on how to find a therapist to treat self-injury. Also, check out S.A.F.E.‘s informative Youtube videos!

  • This website allows users to search thousands of treatment providers, detox and aftercare centers, and private helplines. also provides information on the recovery process, dual diagnosis, local addiction treatment and much more!

  • Talkspace is a digital therapy resource, allowing users to engage with a therapist anytime on their smartphone or through the web. It provides “affordable, confidential, and anonymous therapy at the touch of a button.” This can be a great resource for those who feel they do not have the time for in-person therapy appointments or do not have many treatment resources available locally.

Other helpful websites:

  • The Crisis Text Line serves young people in any type of crisis, providing them access to free, 24/7, emotional support and information they need via the medium they already use and trust: TEXT. To utilize this resource or read more click here.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: If you feel you are in a crisis, whether or notyou are thinking about killing yourself, please call the Lifeline. People have called for help with substance abuse, economic worries, relationship and family problems, sexual orientation, illness, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and even loneliness. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7. There is also the feature to chat with someone from 2pm until 2 am, daily!

  • ChronicleMe (CMe) is a new social media site that will allow you to share details of your life that you may not want to share with 500 of your closest Facebook friends. Whether it is an embarrassing tidbit about yourself or a secret that you just are not ready to share with the world, CMe will serve as a one stop shop for all your emotional needs. With its two distinct online communities, CMe Support and CMe Laugh, CMe will give users the freedom to share everyday thoughts anonymously while only receiving positive reinforcement from like-minded people who may be in the same situation. It‘s a judgment free environment in which users control their anonymity by choosing if and when they reveal themselves to another user. Check it out!

  • is a new social media site for researchers, practitioners and allied professionals of mental health and behavioral science. It is designed to provide opportunities for networking within a supportive forum of researchers & therapists. As an international project, it aims to encourage lively global dialogue and Q & A and to promote sharing of useful resources including research, books, documents and media.

  • provides support to those feeling mistreated or alone. The project is designed to engage individuals in expressing their feelings and promotes positive thinking, words, and behaviors in communities. Read more about the organizationhere.

  • GetSomeHeadspace: Headspace is a project designed to demystify meditation. Using the wonders of science and technology, we make it easy-to-learn, fun-to-do, and relevant to your everyday life. This is meditation for modern life – simple, scientifically-proven techniques, that you can use every day to experience a healthier and happier mind. The Headspace website goes into the science behind mindfulness and meditation and helps users learn how to use meditation skills to help overcome anxiety, depression, stress, addiction, and more.

  • This organization provides online resources for youth struggling with mental health. The site gives users the opportunity to build peer support networks through forums and presents extensive information through fact sheets, blogs, and other online tools. Find’s resources specifically on self injury here.

  • is an online community providing resources on positive thinking to those struggling with mental health. Users can read blogs, participate in forums, or read and listen to the great content featured on the website.

  • Self Injury Awareness Network: A survivor-lead, consumer-operated, nonpartisan, community support coalition dedicated to educating and advocating on behalf of self-injury survivors of all ages and walks of life.

  • Critical Mental Health Resources for College Students: This website is meant to provide college students and young people with quality information on maintaining good mental health and identifying mental health issues.

  • SiOS Self-injury Outreach & Support: As part of a collaboration between the University of Guelph and McGill University, we are a non-profit outreach initiative providing information and resources about self-injury to those who self-injure, those who have recovered, and those who want to help.

  • Your Life Counts: “Helping Youth & Families To Nurture, Protect & Sustain Their Will To Live…”

  • Self Injury Foundation: The mission of the Self Injury Foundation is to provide funding for research, advocacy support and education for self-injurers, their loved ones and the professionals who work with them. We are dedicated to providing the most up to date information and resources available on self-injury.

  • The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is aimed at helping parents and families in understanding emotional, developmental, behavioral and mental disorders affecting children and adolescents.

  • ASHIC (the American Self-Harm Information Clearinghouse) strives to increase public awareness of the phenomenon of self-inflicted violence and the unique challenges faced by self-injurers and the people who care about them.

  • Inspiring Connections is a Canadian organization that provides training and other resource materials to organizations, professionals and laypersons who want to learn more about self-injury and working with people who self-injure.

  • The National Mental Health Association has an on-line factsheet about self-injury available here.

  • The National Self-Harm Network (UK): Young People and Self Harm is a key information resource for young people who self-harm, their friends and families, and for professionals working with them.

  • This guide from Best helps to identify the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues for college students and where and when to seek help. Left untreated, these issues can become debilitating for students, so whether you feel you are experiencing these issues or find yourself concerned for a friend or peer, it is important to take action now.

  • To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

Finally, this article on Sanative offers 50 self-harm alternatives organized by mood. I found it on Pinterest here.


Find more from Shawna Ayoub Ainslie at The Honeyed Quill.


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