We have seen an increase in young people talking to us about self-harming behaviour on HOPELineUK; using self-harm as a way of coping with difficult emotions, but also as something that can impact on – or increase – their thoughts of suicide. Current research also indicates that previous self-harm can increase the likelihood of an individual acting on thoughts of suicide. SHARE-UK need your help for their study on self-harm. Below is a blog by Professor Ann John and PhD Student Amanda Marchant explaining the details of the study.

Self-Harm Research UK (SHARE-UK)

We need your help to better understand self-harm and to improve support!

Self-harm is when a person intentionally injures or poisons himself or herself. There are lots of reasons why someone may self-harm and these may change over time.  It’s thought that 10 to 20 out of 100 young people in the UK have self-harmed at some point.

The role of the internet in self-harm is a growing area of research and debate and we want to understand this better. There are concerns over harmful content, triggering material and bullying. There is also great opportunity for support, community and information.

Most self-harm research is conducted in healthcare settings. Since the majority of people do not seek help from health care services, this leaves a lot of people with no voice in research about self-harm and what they think would work for them.

SHARE-UK is a new study based at Swansea University, led by Professor Ann John. Ann chairs the National Advisory Group on Suicide and Self-harm prevention in Wales.

We want to give everyone who has experienced self-harm a voice. We want to hear from you to help us learn what support is needed. Everything can be completed online and is completely anonymous. If you are aged 16 or over and have ever harmed yourself you can sign up and help us to improve support.

What does the study involve?

Once you’ve signed up you will be asked some questions about yourself. You can skip these or answer them later if you like.

You will be given your own user area. From here you have the option of filling in some questionnaires. You can answer as many of these as you like in any order. If you decide at any time you don’t want to finish a questionnaire just hit exit. You’re free to do this at any time and you don’t have to give a reason.

You can also tell us about things you’ve looked at online. This can be anything from Facebook groups, to online news or support sites. We are interested in the good and the bad and the more you can tell us about the better. Simply go to ‘Dashboard’ in your user area and click ‘Add resource’.

The media databank

Databases of online information created for research are rapidly outdated and often based on searches led by researchers. We want to find a way that people can let us know what they are looking at. Using our dashboard you can upload online resources (the good and the bad!) allowing them to be studied in real time. The dashboard is easy to use and you can add as many sources as you like.

We’re hoping to learn more about the ways the internet can be helpful. We also want to learn more about potential risks.

Our research register

We have also set up a self-harm research register. This is separate to the rest of the study, although you can choose to join the register when you sign up if you would like.

By signing up to the research register you have the opportunity to take part in any future studies run by our research team. This is the first register of its kind in the UK. It is hoped that being able to sign up online will give everyone a voice in research in a way not previously possible.

Want to learn more? Visit www.share-uk.co.uk or email us at shareuk@swansea.ac.uk

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