Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has dedicated February as “self-help not self-harm” awareness month.
Over the last three years, there has been a 40% increase in the numbers of children and young people self-harming in Worcestershire. Nationally, the rise is reported to be as high as 70%.
The trust is urging people to write on their wrists something they do to positively cope with stress and anxiety, for example, talking to friends or exercise.
They are then asked to post their “self-help selfie” on Twitter or Facebook including #selfhelpnotselfharm and nominate three or more friends to do the same.
The campaign kicked off on Monday 2 February on social media and over 20 self-help selfies have been posted so far.
Nicky Ratcliff, community psychiatric nurse in the trust’s child and adolescent mental health service, said: “A key reason why children self-harm is because they aren’t aware of alternative coping strategies when they feel low, stressed, worried or anxious.
“This campaign is about supporting young people to find better and safer ways of dealing with their issues,” she said.