Features / mental health

Self-harm help service appealing for donations

By nat schaefer, Wednesday Nov 20, 2019

A Bristol-based charity that helps women and girls who self-harm has launched an urgent fundraising appeal.

Self Injury Support have said that they may be forced to close in early 2020 if they cannot secure funding.

The charity offers support by phone, text and web chat to people identifying as women and girls all over the UK who are affected by self-harm. Many of their clients have been affected by abuse and trauma, and many are suicidal.

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“We have three months to save our vital services. We run a unique, national service providing lifesaving help to women and girls who use self-harm,” Naomi Salisbury, the charity’s director, said.

“For over 30 years, we’ve offered this support to thousands of women and girls in the depths of despair, but now we need to ask for help ourselves. Despite our best efforts, we are struggling to secure funding to carry on running our services.”

91 per cent of the charity’s funding in 2016-17 came from government grants, but Self Injury Support says they are not currently receiving enough to cover running costs.

“In the current climate, there is less and less funding available for small organisations like ours which do unique and vital work, but don’t have the capacity to fundraise full-time,” said Naomi.

From a workshop at an event run by Self Injury Support recently (photo by Clare Peat)

The charity has set a fundraising target of £60,000, which they aim to reach by the end of January. They say the best way to help is to sign up to a small monthly donation.

“If everyone reading this was able to donate £5 a month, the service would be fully funded and we would no longer need to constantly apply for funding grants,” the charity states on their website.

“We know £5 a month is not affordable for everyone, but any support you can give by donating or sharing this appeal is hugely appreciated.”

Self Injury Support was founded in 1988 as a women’s co-operative, and tries to integrate “peer support, compassion and acceptance” into its work.

As well as running the only UK-wide self-harm support service, it provides training for health professionals and free online self-help information and tools.

In 2018, the charity received over 1,000 phone calls and 25,000 texts, and offered support to around 2,000 women and girls at risk.

To donate to the appeal, visit www.selfinjurysupport.org.uk/appeal/save-our-services-without-your-support-they-will-close-in-2020.

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