Self-injury and self-harm

This information is for patients who have attended the Emergency Department following an episode of self-harm. 

Thank you for attending the Emergency Department. We understand that this must be a difficult and distressing time for you.

Our team would like to be able to offer you an assessment of your current needs in order for us to identify any help that may be beneficial to you. 

It is also important that you have any physical healthcare needs addressed. We would therefore like you to wait to be seen by the triage nurse and the admitting doctor. 

Whatever your reason is for attending the Emergency Department, we aim to treat you with respect, dignity, and in confidence.

What is self-injury and self-harm and who does it affect?

Self-injury or self-harm can be many things that people do to themselves in a deliberate and often hidden way like cutting, burning, overdosing, scratching, biting, hair pulling and breaking bones. 

Sometimes people think they are the only ones doing it but research shows that it is very common. 

In the UK at least one in every 15 young people has experience of self-injury. That is two young people in every classroom. 

Why do people self-injure or self-harm?

People self-injure and self-harm for all sorts of reasons, but often it is because feelings like anger, sadness, and fear have got too painful to deal with. 

Sometimes people self-injure or self-harm because of the pressure and stress from things like relationships, family problems, school, work, finances, debt and sexual worries. It may be way of dealing with horrible situations like abuse or the death of someone close. 

You may not know why you self-injure or self-harm. If you think back to the first time, then you may understand what made you start. 

Notice what is going on for you when you get the urge to self-injure and you may get clues as to what your self-injury or self-harm is about.   

Wound care: 

If you require any advice or instructions around wound care please ask a nurse before you leave or attend your GP surgery as soon as possible for assistance. 

Please visit Wound care advice | North Bristol NHS Trust ( for advice about wound care. 

Sources of Support and information. 

Self Injury Self Help Group (SISH)

Self injury helpline 
Available Tuesday and Wednesday 7pm-9 pm
Thursday 3pm-5pm
Phone: 0117 230 8230     

Self injury support

National Self Harm Network
Online peer support forums

NHS direct 
Phone: 111

Bristol Mindline
Wednesday to Sunday, 8pm – midnight
Phone: 0808 808 0330

Kinergy-Sexual Abuse Counselling
Phone: 0117 908 7712

Next Link – Domestic Abuse services – Bristol
Phone: 0800 4700 280

Survive – Domestic Violence Support Service – South Gloucestershire
Phone: 0117 961 2999

DHI – Developing health and independence, drug and alcohol service 
Bristol Phone: 0117 440 0540    
South Gloucestershire Phone: 01454 868750

ARA, Bristol Alcohol Misuse Service 
Phone: 0330 1340 286 

Your GP maybe able to offer you more information and support services

Samaritans 24hr helpline 
Phone: 116 123

© North Bristol NHS Trust.  This edition published April 2024. Review due April 2027. NBT002890.

Self-injury and self-harm

Contact Emergency Department (ED)

Gate 35, Level 0
Brunel building
Southmead Hospital
Southmead Road
BS10 5NB

Emergency Department Main Reception Gate 35: 0117 4145100 or 0117 4145101