Determined to tackle misconceptions around self-harm, Reece Ismay wants others to better understand why some people do it, so they can support them to get the help they need.
The 17-year-old from Witham in Essex saw someone he cares about affected by self-harm and is concerned that it’s too often mistaken for attention-seeking.
He wants to challenge the stigma surrounding it so that more people feel able to speak out and seek help, without fear of being judged.
‘It’s important that those who may be going through this know not to keep it to themselves,’ Reece explains. ‘I want them to understand that they’re not alone in their struggles.’
With Fixers, Reece and his team have helped design a wristband to raise awareness of self-harm and highlight that some people see it as the only way to escape their troubles.
A small card will be handed out with each band to offer additional information on the subject.
Using the slogan ‘Stay Strong’, the card urges recipients to ‘judge less and understand more’ and provides websites where people can access support.
Click on the image below to see Reece and his team’s Fixers wristband and information card.
‘I really like the finished design and hopefully a simple idea like this can make a big difference,’ Reece says.
‘I think it’s a taboo subject so the more people who wear the wristbands, the further our message will go.
‘It’s about breaking the stigma and making the public realise that people who self-harm need to be heard.’
Reece and his team plan to hand out their wristbands and information cards in Chelmsford later this summer.
‘I think targeting young people is a great way to challenge misunderstandings,’ he adds.
‘Hopefully the campaign will allow more individuals dealing with self-harm to reach out, without fear of being judged.’
This Fixers project is supported by Simplyhealth.
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Rhian East is using her experience of self-harm to encourage
others to talk about their emotions. Watch her Fixers film.