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Non-Suicidal Self Injury (NSSI)

Learn About Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)

Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), commonly known as self-harm, is defined as deliberately injuring oneself as a means of dealing with emotional stressors. People who self-harm (only five percent are adults, according to Mental Health America. "Rates are higher among adolescents, with approximately 17 percent of teens reporting some form of self-injury. Studies show an even higher risk for self-injury among college students, with rates ranging from 17-35 percent." It is important to know that self-harm, while destructive, does not include suicide.

Mental Health America reports, "People who self-injure commonly report they feel empty inside, over or under stimulated, unable to express their feelings, lonely, not understood by others, and/or fearful of intimate relationships and adult responsibilities. Self-injury is their way to cope with or relieve painful or hard-to-express feelings."

The most common form of NSSI is self-cutting, but other forms include burning, scratching, hitting, intentionally preventing wounds from healing, and other similar behaviors. 

Please explore these resources to learn more about symptoms, treatment, how to understand a friend or family member's behavior, and how to help. 



Downloadable Resources