Harmless becomes UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Self Harm and Suicide Prevention on World Suicide Prevention Day

Harmless CIC has been working in the field of self harm and suicide prevention for over 14 years. CEO Caroline Harroe established the service from lived experience and out of a dedication to ensure that those who were facing self harm had the access to appropriate care, support and advice. For the first time, there was a service dedicated to this specialist field within suicide prevention. Since that point, the projects we deliver, the work that we undertake, the people we both serve and employ have grown in breadth and diversity with one thing in mind – to save lives.

Since 2007 we have grown in stature and reputation. In addition to face-to-face support for those who self-harm, those in crisis, those traumatised and bereft; we deliver community based, national and international training. In addition, we advise policy, support research, and help carers through dark times. Challenging stigma and inspiring hope remain central to the work and we have influenced media productions and taken an assertive stance on workforce welfare.

We have supported tens of thousands of individuals with our approach and are told daily that without us, people would die for lack of or unsuitable support. Our commitment has never wavered, and our direction is always defined.

10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s theme is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’. This theme that is fitting with our service, our projects and our vision.

To mark this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day, we are re-launching our beloved Harmless as ‘The Harmless Centre of Excellence for Self Harm and Suicide Prevention’, proudly renaming the service for all that we do and all that we have to offer. Our Vision remains – to save lives. We believe that this renewed commitment as a Centre of Excellence will hopefully convey all that we do to commit to this vision, beyond the day-to-day work to help our clients.

Dr Leah Quinlivan, Research Fellow at University of Manchester says “I am delighted to see the launch of the Centre of Excellence for Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention. The University of Manchester has worked closely with the Centre on many of our projects, Expert Advisory Panels, engagement events and self-harm and suicide prevention research. We have always received excellent support throughout the process and look forward to all our future collaborations.”

Professor Louis Appleby, Leader of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group says, “It is with great pleasure we see Harmless open as the Centre of Excellence for Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention. Delivering above and beyond their daily provision and striving for the highest standards of excellence. On the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group, we have worked closely with the Centre and it is clear their integrity and commitment to saving lives is at the heart of everything they do.”

Caroline Harroe CEO The Harmless Centre of Excellence for Self Harm and Suicide Prevention says, “This year, like every other, we will continue to save lives through affirmative action. We will deliver hopeful and helpful services and assist others to do the same. The Centre is committed to a world where suffering is alleviated and lives are saved. We are very proud to now be known as the Centre of Excellence for Self Harm and Suicide Prevention.”

As a service this feels like a good next step for us and one that communicates the range of services that we offer and deliver and the standard and quality of those services.