01 March, 2021

Marking Self-Injury Awareness Day

Every year, Self-Injury Awareness Day falls on 1 March. With it comes an opportunity to raise awareness about self-injury or self-harm, to reduce stigma, and to point people towards help and support.

Self-harm can be a difficult and sensitive topic to talk about and understand. While it may be linked with mental health difficulties, such as depression or eating disorders, self-harm is not a mental health condition or diagnosis in its own right. It can take diverse forms, and people may engage in various self-injuring behaviours for different reasons and at different times.

Informing ourselves about self-harm is important so that we can recognise self-harming behaviours and better support those experiencing them. To help with this and to mark Self-Injury Awareness Day, we’ve compiled a range of information, reports and presentations on self-harm below.

Look back at past conferences

In previous years, we hosted an annual Self-Harm Awareness Conference (SHAC) in partnership with Pieta. From firsthand experience from mental health ambassadors to insight into the challenges and opportunities of different interventions, you can look back at the conferences and find more helpful information and resources.

Look back at past conferences

Dave Rudden, and mental health in the Traveller community

In 2020, SHAC focused on responding to high-risk groups such as adolescents and members of the Traveller community. Topics included:

  • the therapeutic use of metaphor when treating young people who self-harm
  • the assessment and management of patients presenting to emergency departments following self-harm
  • actions needed to improve mental health within the Traveller community.

The individual lived experience of self-harm and the journey of recovery was also discussed when award-winning author and screenwriter Dave Rudden joined us a guest speaker.

Look back on the 2020 conference presentations here.

Self-harm in young people and the LGBTQI+ community

Risk factors and interventions around self-harm and suicide in young people and self-harm in the LGBTI+ community were explored in our 2019 conference, with speakers from the National Suicide Research Foundation and BelongTo. A practical guide for parents, carers and educators of young people who self-harm was also shared.

See podcasts and presentations from the 2019 conference here.

Blindboy, and reducing self-harm in the autism community

In 2017, SHAC provided a mix of practical workshops and presentations for teachers, school staff, community workers, parents and students. Speakers included Blindboy Boatclub of the Rubberbandits and Blindboy Podcast; Dr Niall Muldoon of the Ombudsman for Children; Adam Harris of AsIAm; and more.

Hear podcasts from the 2017 conference here.

Getting support

If you would like support for self-harm or if you are concerned about someone you know, help is available through the helplines and support services below. If you need urgent help, please find a list of crisis supports here.

  • Support and Information Line

    At St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS), we run a support line staffed by mental health nurses from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Get in touch by ringing 01 249 3333 (with a callback facility for out-of-hours contact). Local phonecall costs apply. You can also email

  • Your Mental Health

    Freephone the Your Mental Health Infoline from the Health Service Executive (HSE) to find supports and services near you: this is available at any time on 1800 111 888.

    You can also use the free, 24/7 Text 50808 text service, which offers chats and support to people going through emotional or mental health crises: text "HELLO" to the number 50800 at any time to get in touch.

  • Pieta

    If you or a family member are self-harming or having suicidal thoughts, you can contact Pieta’s 24-hour helpline on 1890 130 022 or 1800 247 247.

  • Samaritans

    Call 116 123, 24 hours a day to contact the Samaritans’ helpline, which aims to provide emotional support at any time you may need it.

Continue to…

Eating Disorders in a Global Pandemic