Child Anxiety Resources
Deliberate Self Injury: DSI
Note: Bulk quantities of brochures can be ordered via our online store
Download Youth Beyond Blue Self harm and self injury factsheet here
Click through to the Headspace self harm research information here
Click through to Sane Australia factsheet and online chat here
Download Kids Helpline DSI Factsheet and information here
Download fact sheets, leaflets, and print outs from LifeSigns here
Frequently asked questions on DSI
What is deliberate self-injury (DSI)?
DSI is a term used when you deliberately hurt yourself without the intent of suicide. Other names for self injury are self harm, cutting and self mutilation. This is often done by cutting, burning, hitting, scratching and picking. However this behaviour can come in even more severe forms such as bone breaking.
Why is this person doing this to themselves?
Self Injury is a way of coping when you are feeling overwhelmed emotionally and/or psychologically distressed. Self injury generally occurs when something “triggers” the person and makes them feel bad about themselves or out of control. People injure themselves to relieve, express or control overwhelming emotional pain or psychological distress. It is often described as a maladaptive attempt at self help.
Some of the stressors that can trigger a person to self injure include:
Being overwhelmed or anxious, despair, wanting to punish others, feeling disappointed, depression, having thoughts of suicide, not feeling real or alive, practical problems, relationship issues, needing to control their bodies, intense pain needing to be released, feeling angry.
Each person who self injures has a unique story and reasons for why they choose this behaviour.
Are they just after attention?
Self injury is an extremely private issue and can be kept secret for a very long period of time. There are very strong feelings of shame and guilt which are associated with injuring yourself. If the injury is visible, this may have more to do with trying to communicate their pain than to drawing direct attention.
Are they trying to kill themselves or attempt suicide?
Those who self injure are trying to stay alive. They are using the injuring to cope with live and its ups and downs.
What can I do to help?
- Just listen to them. Don’t respond negatively
- Find out as much as you can about Self Harm
- Try to identify the feelings and emotions around this issue or “trigger”
- Talk to them. Remember its them you’re here to support
- Make a plan of action. This doesn’t mean taking away their cutting implements.
- Do not avoid the issue. Talk openly and supportively about it
- Involve professionals. Look for professionals who have had some history with self injurers.
Booklets and Brochures
We have booklets and brochures on DSI available at no charge. You can download copies above. For bulk copies we do require postage payment. Flyers can be ordered via our online store.
Our youth friendly DSI brochure includes tear off sections that can be given to family and friends as a first step in gaining support.