HELPING A FRIEND DEAL WITH SELF-INJURIOUS BEHAVIOR

  • Let your friend know that you care and will listen.
  • Be supportive and available—spend time doing enjoyable activities together.
  • Understand that self-harming behavior is an attempt to maintain a certain amount of control and that it is a way of self-soothing.
  • Encourage your friend to express their emotions, especially anger.
  • Avoid telling your friend to stop the behavior or making judgmental comments.
  • Offer to help your friend find help, such as meeting with a counselor.
  • Recognize that you are not responsible for his or her behavior and that you can not force your friend to change.
  • Seek support for yourself by talking to a friend, RA, or counselor.

For more information on this topic

The Jed Foundation
ULifeline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK)
Self-Injurious Behavior (PDF)