A Leicester teenager is using her personal experiences to address the issue of self-harming, so adults, parents and professionals can better recognise the potential signs and symptoms in young people.
Fixer Natalie Brown (18) self-harmed in the past as a way to cope with bullying she experienced in school.
‘Whenever things got too much, I would try and keep it all bottled up, but a lot of the time I’d end up hiding away in the bathroom self-harming,' she explains.
'I would use a razor blade to cut my legs. I would cut my thighs as it was easily hidden.
Natalie hopes her Fixers poster campaign will break the typical ‘cutter’ stereotypes by showing how self-harming can be covered up.
‘My Fixers project is about raising awareness of how common self-harming is amongst teenagers.
‘I’ve been taking the posters to colleges aiming to break the misconceptions that come with self-harming.’
The awareness posters – which were shown at Leicester’s West End Gallery earlier this year – show young people in everyday situations and provide a glimpse of what they may be thinking or feeling.
Debbie Preston, a Counsellor at Leicester College, says: ‘I think what Natalie’s doing is absolutely wonderful. I think she’s challenging the stigma that unfortunately surrounds self- harm.
‘Working as a counsellor here at the college, we’ve definitely noticed an increase in the incidents and anything that raises awareness has got to be a good thing.’
Natalie adds: ‘I think by shining a light on self-harming itself, it will open people’s eyes more to it, to understand that you can get help for it and there is support everywhere, for anybody who needs it.’