It’s hard to know where to start with this. I know people who have struggled with self-harm. It’s not funny, it’s not something to encourage or to glorify. It’s something to weep about and to stand against. Those laughing about it online only make the problem worse - the longer this stays something to mock, the harder it is for someone who is struggling with this to talk about it.
I had to research the story and look on the hashtag for a news story to go in the magazine last week. I was left feeling sick. Sick that there are young people thinking that this is a good coping mechanism and sick that there are people who find this funny. Credit has to go to Twitter who contacted individuals who appeared to have been affected, before moving quickly to publish a new policy for those who spot tweets relating to self-harm which can be found http://goo.gl/ZRbxG.
If you’re anything like me you find this stuff scary, and don’t know what to do about it. I was put in a situation last year where I had to deal with this kind of thing first hand. I panicked. I stopped. I took a deep breath. I prayed. And then all that youth work training took over - I have a great youth work team and we made it through.
I can’t recommend the work of selfharm.co.uk highly enough. If this is an area you want to learn more about and be able to respond to better, please check out their website.
Jamie Cutteridge is the Youthwork journalist