Hi @concerned09 ,
I'm really sorry to hear that your daughter has self harmed, I imagine that would have been a really confronting and upsetting thing to find out, and we're glad that you've come here for some support
We have some great resources on the ReachOut Parents website to help parents understand the reasons why young people may self harm, and some strategies that may be helpful for them which I've linked to here. A lot of the time, young people self-harm to cope with painful thoughts, emotions and memories- the physical pain can often provide a sense of momentary relief, and it's something that can often become quite compulsive. For most young people , it's a way to cope with difficult emotions rather than an attempt to end their life, though some young people may also be experiencing thoughts of suicide.
Has your daughter been able to tell you why she harmed herself?
Do you have a GP that you have a good relationship with? Getting some professional help is really important if your daughter is open to it - a GP is a great place to start. Services like Kids Helpline and Headspace are also great places for your daughter to access support from a mental health professional. If your daughter is more comfortable talking to a school counsellor or psychologist, they may be another good person to approach for support. A professional can help a lot in both looking at the underlying reasons for self harm, and helping your daughter to develop coping skills and strategies to avoid self harming behaviour.
You're definitely not alone in having a young person who is experiencing self harm - if it would help to read other parent's experiences and hear what worked for them, this thread has a lot of parents sharing their experiences of supporting a young person who is self-harming.
It's also really important for you to get some support for yourself if you feel like you need someone to lean on - supporting a loved one who's experiencing challenges like this can definitely take a toll on your own well being. We do offer a one to one parents support service in partnership with the Benevolent Society that you can check out here - it is free and confidential, and is run over the phone or online.
I hope that these resources are helpful for you- do you have any friends and family that you can lean on for support? This is a really friendly and safe space- you don't have to cope with this alone. Please keep us posted on how you and your daughter are getting on - wishing you all the best.
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