Unique services helping women and girls who self-harm are under threat of closure, warns a charity.

Self Injury Support has three months to secure funding to continue the vital work it does. The charity offers direct support by phone, text and webchat to women and girls across the UK affected by self-harm. Many of the women and girls have been affected by abuse and trauma, many are suicidal and all of them desperately want to talk to someone who won’t judge or ignore them, and who understands the complexities of self-harm.

Self-harm is on the rise in the UK, especially amongst young women and the likelihood of dying by suicide is increased 35 times if you’ve previously used self-harm.

Without funding, Self Injury Support is under serious threat and may be forced to close in early 2020.

Naomi Salisbury, Director of Self Injury Support, says:

“We have three months to save our vital services. We run a unique, national service providing lifesaving help to women and girls who use self-harm. For over 30 years, we’ve offered this support to thousands of women and girls in the depths of despair, but now we need to ask for help ourselves. Despite our best efforts, we are struggling to secure funding to carry on running our services. In the current climate, there is less and less funding available for small organisations like ours which do unique and vital work, but don’t have the capacity to fundraise full-time.”

In 2018 Self injury Support responded to over 1000 phone calls and 25000 texts and provided support to around 2000 women and girls at risk.

A donation to Self Injury Support means that:

  • Women and girls can find non-judgmental, compassionate support at a time when they are most at risk – 50% of clients told us they would have nowhere else to go if we weren’t here
  • Women and girls affected by trauma, abuse and self-harm can have hope for their futures - 70% of clients in our evaluation told us our services helped them to reduce or stop using self-harm

A donation of £5 a month provides up to 12 hours one to one support by phone, text or webchat for a young woman from a specially trained volunteer.

You can support the appeal here: https://www.selfinjurysupport.org.uk/appeal/save-our-services-without-your-support-they-will-close-in-2020

Case study

Outwardly, Laura is a high-achieving, popular first-year university student, involved in sports and community volunteering.

What no-one around her knows, is that for some time now she has been struggling with anxiety, worrying that she is not really the enthusiastic person that everyone sees and that soon she will be ‘found out’.

The other thing that no-one knows is that to try and cope with her feelings, she has started to self-harm.

She is terrified that if her friends find out they will shun her and she will be kicked off her university course.

With pressure increasing on her course she is becoming more and more distressed and harming herself more frequently.

She contacts Self Injury Support at least once a week to talk through her feelings and to help her resist her strong urges to self-harm.

Each regular donation of £5 a month means we can support Laura and all of the women struggling with self-harm who contact us every day.

#saveourservices #sissos


Notes to editors:


Our Director Naomi Salisbury can be contacted on 0117 927 9600 or emailed on [email protected]

Self injury Support is a national charity based in Bristol, which has been running since 1988. It started as a women’s co-operative and still embraces the same ethos of peer support, compassion and acceptance in all it’s work. Self injury Support runs the only UK-wide self harm support service, as well as providing training for health professionals and free online self-help information and tools.