Our vibrant, friendly, supportive message board is unlike most self-injury message boards you come across on the web. Running since 2003, we have supported literally thousands of members over the years as they struggle with, and often move away from, self-injury.
One of the biggest concerns about any kind of ‘supportive’ message board is that of safety. We’ve all heard about the terrible ‘pro’ sites that actively encourage self-injury, but even many so-called ‘recovery’ sites still have little in place to protect vulnerable people from triggering discussions or images, or from sharing ‘ideas’ on how to self-injure, however inadvertently.
“Through speaking with other members who shared similar struggles to myself I found I was able to really talk about why it was that I self-harmed, the feelings that were associated with this and also other ways in which I could cope in a more healthier way.”
The LifeSIGNS / FirstSigns message board is different; our rules are strict and our moderators and admin are around on a daily basis to ensure everything remains safe, friendly, welcoming, supportive and positive. Some new members are understandably shocked when they first learn of our rules; but they quickly accept and even welcome them as they realise our environment is the best possible kind of online peer support for a person who is struggling with self-injury. It’s especially heart-warming when we learn of new members who have been referred to us by their GPs, counsellors or therapists!
“The close moderation of the forums mean that unnecessary glorification of self-injury and competition between members is not tolerated.”
We are non-judgemental and we never tell people what to do. We’ll never tell you that you must ‘stop’ hurting yourself. But we will offer you encouragement to move away from self-injury, empower you to make positive new choices and to seek health and happiness, and support you for as little or as long as you need.
All new members have their accounts individually activated. This ensures we can keep the message board free from spammers and adds a little extra security. New members are requested to read our rules and then post in the ‘Welcome’ forum to say hi. We don’t use real names or identifying personal information, and everyone says as much or as little about their circumstances as they feel comfortable with. Some people simply do just say ‘hi’ and that’s absolutely fine.
“Joining LifeSIGNS was my first step to recovery.”
Everyone’s really friendly, new members are eagerly welcomed, and there are always mods and admin on hand to help with any questions along the way; our new members soon find they feel at home and don’t stay ‘new’ for long!
Some of our members only stay while they’re struggling and then move away within weeks or months; some return year after year either for support or to let us know how they’re doing, and some never leave! Some decide they want to give something back and become moderators, and we can’t thank those people enough; we couldn’t run the message board without them.
Don’t just take our word for it
Here’s what some of our volunteer Moderators have to say:
“Joining FirstSigns was scary to me in the beginning, it was like I was finally realising I did need support and did need to learn more about what I was doing and why. At that point in my life I felt so alone but FirstSigns made me feel so welcome and I felt I could be myself here and talk about what I wanted and what drove me to do the things I did.
“FirstSigns, together with my therapists helped me to gradually reduce my need to hurt myself and turn to other methods of letting out my feelings and now I have been free from self harm for almost 6 years. Because FirstSigns helped me so much I am decided that now I am stronger to be involved with helping to keep the message board a safe supportive environment.”
“After first joining FirstSigns I no longer felt as alone or like I was an ‘outcast’. FirstSigns enabled me to try out new coping strategies in a safe environment where I knew I was not alone and that if I did have a slip up -it was not the end of the world!! I still greatly struggle with sh urges but I am no longer fighting it alone and because of this I am a lot stronger than what I ever was before to stop once and for all.”
“Before I found this site I thought, as many do, that I was the only one with this secret shame, that I would be locked up and the key thrown away if anyone found out, God forbid telling a doctor about it!!
“People here understood my feelings because they had been through the same as I had. Talking on the boards gave me the courage to speak to my GP. Reassurance that I wasn’t mad I was just unable to cope in a healthy way. With the knowledge from other member’s who had been in my position that I could indeed get through this and my life could change, and it has… for the better. The safety of our member’s is of utmost importance to us and because of this LifeSIGNS is a safe haven for people who self-injure.”
If you’re struggling with self-injury and would like some positive, non-judgemental support from caring people who empathise, you can read more about our message board and join us.
If you have any questions or comments then please do leave a comment here on our blog, or email Jules@firstsigns.org.uk
We look forward to welcoming you.