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National Self-Injury Awareness Day

March 1st

3 March 2004

Many people wore/handed out ribbons for NSIAD. I wanted to, so I went to my local WalMart to buy orange ribbon. They didn't exactly have what I was looking for, but they did have something else that was very interesting: half-and-half orange-and-white polyester ribbon. I decided to make a bracelet out of it.

Then I thought; why make just one? So, I may soon be taking orders for Recovery Bracelets. You can view them here. Just click your browser's "back" button to return to this page.

Recovery Bracelets are orange and white ribbons, with a toggle clasp. They are made of 100% polyester ribbon and "silver" metal (that's according to the package)...

Orange symbolizes Self-Injury Awareness. White symbolizes recovery from self-injury. A few reasons to wear a Recovery Bracelet are if you are in a pact with another person or yourself to not self-injure (whether you are the one who SI's or they are), are in recovery from self-injury, know someone who has recovered from SI, etc.

26 February 2004

Dear Editor,

As many are unaware, this Monday, March 1st is National Self-Injury Awareness Day (NSIAD). On this day, people should reach out to adolescents and young adults at middle and high schools, universities, and religious and community youth groups and talk to them about what self-injury (SI) is, and what it isn’t.

Self-injury is a coping mechanism learned in childhood used to deal with stressful and intense emotional situations. The most common forms of SI include, but are not limited to, cutting, burning, scratching, picking at scabs until they bleed, hitting, head-banging, and bone-breaking.

Self-injury is not, however, a suicide attempt. Suicidal feelings may indeed accompany a person when they self-injure, and the wounds inflicted can sometimes be deadly if not treated properly and punctually. The actual goal when a person self-injures is to inflict enough physical pain in order to relieve the extreme emotional pain that they are suffering—emotional pain that is too extreme to deal with using already-learned coping mechanisms. Self-injurers must learn newer, safer ways to contend with the overwhelming urges to harm themselves.

There are places in every community to seek beneficial treatment for those who self-injure. School counselors, teachers, ministers or rabbis, Girl Scout leaders, and peers are all safe people to talk to if you think you or someone you know might self-injure. If serious help is needed, mental health professionals such as therapists and psychologists (who can be seen twice a week, or up to once every three weeks), as well psychiatrists (who can prescribe medication) are all available to help through recovery.

Recovery is extremely important for people who self-injure. At many stages, most people who SI do not wish to recover. It is at those points that we need support even more. And it is at times like NSIAD that extra support should be given.

For NSIAD 2004, I called my local NBC news station, and asked if they wanted to interview someone who deals with self-injury on a daily basis, and has been doing so for seven years. It's called "One Teen's Story Of Self-Injury And Recovery".

Outside of Pamphlet

Inside of Pamphlet

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