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Posted On: 8th Mar 2017

Spotting Self-Harm

Sophie Clarke wants parents and teachers to be aware of self-harm
Sixth form support worker Ashton Harewood supports Sophie's campaign
Sophie prepared a presentation on self-harm

'I mainly cut myself but I also scalded myself, burnt myself with lighters and scratched my skin.


'I was secretive about it - I'd do it under my knickers so that if I had to get changed in front of people they wouldn't be able to see anything.


'I'd been depressed and anxious and I was starting to get problems with food. Seeing blood would reassure me that I was more in control.' 


Hearing about experiences like this has encouraged Sophie Clarke to start a campaign with Fixers to educate parents and teachers on self-harm. 


She spoke to ITV News Anglia about her project on March 9. 


With Fixers, she has created a booklet explaining the signs of self-harm people should look out for.  


The 18-year-old, who lives in Framlingham, Suffolk, says large numbers of young people are affected by this issue. 


'Most teenage friendship groups know someone who self-harms,' she says. 


'My form of self-harm wasn’t visual. I punished myself emotionally not physically. I know that people who do cut themselves feel alone and isolated. 


'When I was 13 or 14, I started to pull away from my friends and isolate myself from everyone. It affected my school work; I couldn't concentrate and struggled to stay focused. 


'What I was doing to myself wasn't healthy, so I researched the subject and discovered there was a name for it - 'emotional self-harm'. 


'There are people self-harming every day, every hour, and they don't have the help they need. I don't believe that parents and teachers know enough about this,' she says.


Click on the link below to view Sophie's Fixers booklet.  




Sixth form support tutor Ashton Harewood says: 'I really do believe Sophie's project is worthwhile. 


'I’ve been working with young people across Suffolk for around seven or eight years now and in that short space of time there has been a large increase of self-harm cases.


'It’s important that parents try and understand the reasons why it's happening and how best to support their child - without feeling like it’s a personal failure or some kind of attention seeking behaviour.'


This project has been supported by the Suffolk Community Foundation


To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.


Author: Molly Kersey


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