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Self-harm

"Self-harm is often understood to be a physical response to an emotional pain of some kind, and can be very addictive"

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What is self-harm?

Self-harm can take the form of physical injury such as cutting, burning or pinching. However, alcohol abuse, drug abuse and eating problems are also forms of self-harm. The urge to self-harm can be very strong and become addictive.

There are many reasons why people self-harm and contrary to what we may believe, adults may be affected just as much as young people. There is significant stigma and shame attached to self-harming behaviour and for this reason statistics on adult self-harming are difficult to clarify.

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As a barrister, clerk or member of staff it can be a struggle to balance competing demands from clients, colleagues, solicitors and family. Addictive behaviours can become a way of releasing stressful feelings.

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The information and resource packs on this website are designed to help you and your colleagues to work as a community for better wellbeing and professional resilience. If you want to provide feedback on these resources, or to get involved in promoting wellbeing please get in touch.


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It can be difficult to make a living from law and it can be pressurised and demanding. Competition and an adversarial approach to everything can make collegiate relationships difficult. This website aims to provide you with the knowledge to manage these stressors, make emotionally informed, wise professional decisions and thrive in your chosen profession.

A simple expression that sums up wellbeing is ‘travelling well’

2 in 3 barristers feel that showing signs of stress equals weakness