Self harm strategy and action plan 2023 to 2027

Scotland's first dedicated self-harm strategy and action plan aims for anyone affected by self-harm, to receive compassionate support, without fear of stigma or discrimination. It is jointly owned by Scottish Government and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).

Sources of Support

We recognise that self-harm can be a difficult issue – to experience and to think about. If you have been affected by self- harm, we have provided details of organisations who can offer listening support as well as provide you with further information.

Self-harm Network Scotland – a website that offers support and information to people considering self-harm. An immediate chat service operates 7 days a week from 6pm–10pm or you can leave a message and someone will get back to you. The site also provides support and information for loved ones and professionals.

Breathing Space – a free, confidential listening service that provides a safe space for anyone aged 16 and over in Scotland to open up when they’re feeling down. Breathing Space services are available weekday evenings between 6pm and 2am and over weekends, from 6pm on Friday until 6am Monday morning. Call 0800 83 85 87

The 111 Mental Health Hub – a free, confidential, NHS service available 24 hours a day. The Hub is for anyone in Scotland who needs urgent support for mental health concerns including thoughts of self-harm and suicide. There is no age limit. Call 111

Samaritans – a free, 24/7 listening service that offers confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Call 116 123

Childline – a free, 24/7 listening service for children and young people, for whenever they need support or advice. Call 0800 1111

Children 1st – Parentline website and webchat is available for advice and support. If you live in Scotland you can call seven days a week Mon-Fri, 9am to 9pm and Sat- Sun 9am to noon call 08000 28 22 33

Shout – a free and confidential 24/7 UK text messaging support service for anyone, including children and young people, who is struggling to cope. Text 85258

LGBT Health and Wellbeing – provides emotional support and information to the entire diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community across Scotland. Available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12-9pm and Sundays 1-6pm. Call 0800 464 7000 or email

Scottish Autism Advice Line – provides emotional support and guidance when autistic people, their parents and carers, and professionals need it most. The advice line is open Tuesday–Friday, 10am–4pm (both phone line and LiveChat), and is closed at weekends. Call 01259 222022 or e-mail

Further information about self-harm can be found in the following places

The SAMH Information Service provides information and support on mental health. Whether you’re seeking support or looking for more information for you or someone else.

YoungMinds helps young people to get the mental health support they need, when they need it. There are a range of supports on their website for professionals working with children and young people, and parents and carers.

NHS Inform provides health information that anyone living or visiting Scotland can trust.

Aye Mind provides a range of digital tools that can be used to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.



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