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What do I do if I suspect my friend self-injures?

Self-harm can appear differently on each individual. Here are some potential warning signs or behaviors:

  • Scars
  • Fresh cuts, wounds or scratches.
  • Fresh burns.
  • Bruises or pattern of bruising.
  • Broken bones.
  • Wearing long sleeves and pants, even in the higher temperatures.
  • Keeping sharp objects around when unnecessary (a knife in a residential hall or a razor in a purse).
  • Talking about feeling helpless or worthless (any self-deprecating talk).
  • Changes in behavior or attitude.

If you notice your friend is demonstrating any of the above signs of self-harm, it is encouraged to reach out to them first as a trusted source. Oftentimes, people who self-harm want to talk to someone about it, but have trouble finding the right time or courage. You can show support by listening and encouraging your friend to make an appointment with Counseling Services.

If your friend refuses your help/does not want to talk about it, let them know these resources are available to them whenever they are ready.

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