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Welcome to Harmless

Support at Harmless

Harmless is a user led organisation that provides a range of services about self harm and suicide prevention including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self harm, their friends and families and professionals and those at risk of suicide.

Harmless was set up by people who understand these issues and at the heart of our service is a real sense of hope. We know that with the right support and help life can get better. We hope that you find this site a safe and helpful resource.

Feel free to look around and we welcome your thoughts and feedback about our site and services.

Self Harm & Suicide Prevention Services

Harmless now deliver a range of services and also deliver The Tomorrow Project. In the last ten years we have delivered contracted and funded work for a variety of providers, but are largely self-funded through the selling of training etc. This enables us to preserve long-term and compassionate help for all those that need us.

We provide drop-in, crisis café, short and long-term support and psychotherapy. Under The Tomorrow Project we additionally deliver suicide crisis and bereavement services.

For more information or to volunteer your time and fundraising skills to keep these vital services going, please contact us.

The Harmless Approach

We believe in hope and recovery. We place people with lived experience at the heart of our service, ensuring that we deliver a broad range of service options to meet a variety of needs. Working across age and gender we do our very best to surround the people we help with compassion and practical help and support.

Would you like to work for Harmless? - https://t.co/jyn4k6OcZn https://t.co/3SUkiuL4WC

RT @profsiobhanon: An outstanding ending to #HarmtoHope, @AlysColeKing speaking about the importance of #compassion. Those of us who’ve bee…

#lgbt factors carry a risk for #selfharm and #Suicidality in #students... why? @profsiobhanon speaking at #harmtohope conference today.

Harmless Workbook: Working Through Self Harm Harmless Workbook

Available in either electronic or hard copy, Harmless have developed this workbook in collaboration with service users, therapists and the Institute of Mental Health to provide a tool that can be used to promote recovery and self reflection amongst people that self harm, encouraging alternative methods of coping.

For more information, or to find out how to buy our workbook, please follow this link.

Out of Harm's Way DVD Harmless DVD

Out of Harm's Way. Through the eyes of those with first hand experience, we examine the nature of self harm, distress and recovery. A resource both for those that self harm and for professionals.

For more information, or to find out how to buy our DVD, please follow this link.


How museums are helping people explore their mental health The idea of receiving psychotherapy in a museum might seem unusual. However, art psychotherapists are increasingly looking towards the rich resources of museums and galleries to aid them in their clinical work. Art therapy, or art psychotherapy, sees people expressing their feelings and experiences through art, as well as (or instead of) through words. It can be used to help people of all ages, living with a wide range of emotional or physical conditions. NHS art psychotherapists usually work in designated therapy rooms in hospitals or outpatient centres, but for our recent study we wanted to explore how conducting art psychotherapy in a museum could be beneficial to a group with complex mental health difficulties. Research has found that people “see themselves” in museum objects, and that reflecting on our responses to objects can tell us something about ourselves. For example, an object can evoke powerful emotions, or symbolise an aspect of our current or past experiences. So we wanted to tap into museum objects to help our participants develop greater self-understanding. To our knowledge, this was the first time that museum objects would be used for this kind of art psychotherapy for adults accessing NHS mental health services. We predicted, based on findings from arts in health and art therapy case studies, that a museum setting could help inspire creativity among group members. There is also evidence that a non-clinical space could help people to feel more connected to each other and their local community, and less “set apart” by their mental health difficulties. Working for ²gether NHS Foundation Trust, we delivered a programme for seven adults aged 18-25 at two museums in Gloucester over 18 weeks. Each session lasted for 90 minutes and started and finished in a private education room at the museums. The group members explored the museum exhibitions and then made some art using a variety of different materials. At the beginning, we suggested some tasks (such as finding three objects to represent their past, present and future), but as the weeks went on they increasingly found objects they connected with. At the end of each session there was time for verbal reflections, as a group. Speaking to the group members after the final session, and having observed the sessions as they went along, we discovered just how effective the use of museum objects can be, particularly for self-exploration. Susie (all names have been changed to protect identities) saw her desire to “wipe away the past and start again” reflected in a Victorian writing slate, and drew a modern-day device for making images and then erasing them. She also took inspiration from a model of a cross-section through the earth, drawing herself as a person with three layers and labelling it “what I show to others”, “what those close to me get to see”, and “what I feel about myself that hardly anyone knows”. Another person who attended the sessions, Ellie, was inspired by a repaired Roman pot. She made a collage that expressed her sense that she was “piecing together bits in my life”. Caroline, meanwhile, made a timeline of her life (including some very traumatic experiences), saying that “I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t seen the timeline in the exhibition, but it felt very significant to do it – like putting things in place before moving on”. Although not all the group members made artworks during the sessions, they still found therapeutic value in their encounters with the objects in the museum. Tasha, for example, was not always able to create art in the group but still reported that “using objects for self-reflection was useful”. Several of the group members said that the exhibitions encouraged playfulness, as well as inspiring their creative work, and that this “meant that the group loosened up”. Some said that they felt less defined by their mental health difficulties because the sessions were not held on NHS premises. Our museum sessions also encouraged independence and helped participants to feel valued and connected to the world outside mental health services. As one participant put it: “You feel like you are a real person working on your own personal goals rather than just a patient going through treatment… You wouldn’t necessarily have thought that pulling objects out of museum boxes and wandering around looking at artefacts would help you feel better or make progress in recovery, but you would be surprised.” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/url-art-therapy-museum-mental-health-depression-treatment-nhs-a8780731.html?fbclid=IwAR3r0VgXwZljODe6G6j6nSUJg-PfL-1cRBgYrCAETwRPpfOQg1ERqHj88mE


Supporting children with safe media coverage When disasters or traumatic events occur they’re often given constant media coverage. It can seem like every time you turn on the TV, radio or go online there is more news about the event, who has been hurt and what is happening in the immediate aftermath. Media coverage during times of disaster or traumatic events is important: it can provide those who are affected with news and information about where to go, how to get help and when it’s safe to return to their homes. However, many people, including children and families, can become absorbed by the constant news stream about the event and sometimes they can watch or listen for hours. Impact of too much media exposure Adults need to be mindful of how much exposure their children have to coverage of disasters or traumatic events on TV, radio or the internet. The media often focus on the most frightening aspects of an event and this coverage can contain graphic, scary and disturbing images. Seeing this type of media coverage can cause distress or worry for children. Children will also often discuss what they have seen in the media with each other. As a result, even though your children may not watch coverage constantly at home, they are still exposed to it through their friends and chatter on social media. Media coverage can have an impact on children in the following ways: • they can feel that they are unsafe and that something bad may happen to them or their family • they can be led to think this event is happening constantly, rather than one event being replayed • they can spend a great deal of time thinking about the event, which can affect their sleep and time at school • they may be anxious that the same sort of event may happen to them or their family. The more media coverage children see, the more likely they are to become afraid or upset. How to help your child It’s important that parents, carers and other family members help children to cope with the media coverage that they may see of a disaster or traumatic event. Some recommended ways to manage this include: • try to be there with your children when they are watching coverage of the event. This way you can talk to them about their fears and answer any questions they may have • speak to children about the event in language they will understand, and set limits on the amount of time that they are able to watch TV or internet coverage of the event • explain to your children why you are doing this, that you don’t want them to worry unnecessarily, and that adults are managing things • provide alternative activities for your children to take them away from the media coverage, such as watching a different TV show or playing a game • give your children information to help them to understand what’s happened, why it’s happened, how likely this is to happen to you and your family • remind your children that while what’s happening in the traumatic event is upsetting, there are also lots of good things happening in the world, though these don’t always receive the same level of attention • reassure your children that they’re safe and that you’re there to answer their questions • provide support and comfort to them if they’re upset or feeling unsafe. Talking to your children and continuing to follow the normal routines and rhythms of your daily life are important ways to help them feel safe and secure. Keep in mind that if your children begin to show signs of excessive worry or distress at the media coverage they have seen, you may need to speak to your GP or another health professional. This incredibly helpful and useful resource was written by Professor Beverley Raphael and Amanda Harris, with updates in June 2018 by Nicola Palfrey. Downloadable leaflet containing all information can be found here: https://d2p3kdr0nr4o3z.cloudfront.net/content/uploads/2018/09/11091906/Disasters-the-Media-and-Children.pdf

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Drop-in Session 17/04/2019 17:00 - 18:00 Drop in session for self harm support @ 5pm - 6pm... 1 Beech Ave, Nottingham NG7 7LJ, UK (map)
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Latest News
How museums are helping people explore their mental health Posted Monday 25th March 2019

The idea of receiving psychotherapy in a museum might seem unusual. However, art psychotherapists are increasingly looking towards the rich resources of museums and galleries to aid them in their clinical work.   Art therapy, or art psycho

Supporting children with safe media coverage Posted Friday 22nd March 2019

When disasters or traumatic events occur they’re often given constant media coverage. It can seem like every time you turn on the TV, radio or go online there is more news about the event, who has been hurt and what …

In the News: Scottish mental health legislation to be reviewed Posted Thursday 21st March 2019

Mental health care in Scotland is currently underpinned by laws which date back to 2003, and MSPs have faced calls for an update. The government said a special review group would examine the latest developments in care and treatment. The &#