Directors (Management Committee), Managers, and Officers

We call our management committee members ‘Directors’ coz they direct our work.

LifeSIGNS wouldn’t be anything without our volunteer managers – they give their time for free and run our organisation.

Everyone at LifeSIGNS is a volunteer, with personal experience of self-injury. We might be recruiting.

It’s important to tackle the stigma around self-injury, I don’t want anyone to feel as alone and confused as I was. Self-injury is a coping mechanism – a way to deal with emotional and mental stresses. I’ve struggled with self-injury as a boy, as a teen, and again as a young adult.

I founded LifeSIGNS in 2002 to raise awareness about self-injury; at the time, I couldn’t find decent information on the web for UK audiences. I knew more could be done.

Over the years, our team has changed and developed, and so have our services. I’m proud to lead our charitable organisation and help our team of volunteers create impact across the UK, and the world. Now that LifeSIGNS is well into our second decade of operating, we mean to help create understanding and support people in their emotional health journey. It’s easier to talk about things these days, but prejudice remains, and people struggle to talk about self-injury and the emotional drivers behind it.

Wedge is my real name (these things happen, I assure you) and no one at LifeSIGNS uses their surnames.

Email me to discuss Self-Injury Awareness Day, our website, speaking, collaborating, and organisational matters.

Wedge

Wedge {at} lifesigns.org.uk

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I first discovered LifeSIGNS in 2003, and it came as a surprise to learn that there were other people who hurt themselves in order to cope with overwhelming emotion and stress.

Discovering that I wasn’t alone in self-injury was reassuring, but it also made me sad to know others were hurting themselves, perhaps in silence. I decided that I wanted to raise awareness about self-injury, and educate people. I wanted to change perceptions and help provide resources. And I wanted to reach out to people who were hurting, alone and in silence. So I joined LifeSIGNS in an official capacity and became a director in 2007.

My ‘real’ job working within the NHS has helped me empathise with the other side of self-injury, and the frustrations that can be involved in dealing with people who self-injure. I’ve always been interested in training people who deal with those who self-harm, and have delivered talks on the subject. As LifeSIGNS grows, I intend to work on our training packages and eventually host our first conference.

Email me to discuss sponsored walks, fund raising, events, training, and local / national project work.

When I began using self-injury as a coping mechanism as a teenager I did not understand what I was doing. I felt alone, and I did not know what challenges it would bring. Now as an adult I have seen many ways in which this topic is misunderstood, and the many misconceptions people have. It has become a passion of mine to create real change, make individuals feel less alone, and help people feel supported in in making changes in their lives.

LifeSIGNS provides information and support that I believe makes a genuine difference; that at fourteen years old, I wish I had found. Now I want to make sure that others can find it.

Self-injury is not something that affects any single type of person; it can be anyone. As the Media Relations Manager I am working to increase the media coverage LifeSIGNS receives in order to spread awareness and reduce the stigma self-injury is often associated with.

Learning to use my words has been crucial for me in finding healthier coping mechanisms. I believe if we can talk about self-injury we can learn to express what lies beyond it, and LifeSIGNS is a great platform for this.

Email me to discuss how we can help you talk about self-injury in your magazine, newspaper, radio show, news broadcast, or TV show. We’re also keen to work with other websites, bloggers, and creatives.

I have a child and a parent who self-harm, and so I want nothing more than to educate people and shatter the myths behind self-harm.

My mum began cutting during her teen years during her struggle with emotional turmoil, and relapsed again when she was older. She has since learned better coping skills, and has been clean for a few years now.

My youngest daughter began cutting at 11. Unbeknownst to me, she was struggling with emotions that she did not want, nor know how, to share. I admit to being one of those naïve parents. After finding out, I wanted so badly to “make it all better”. I started to do some research, read any book that was suggested to me, and now understand it is used as a coping mechanism.

It has been five years, and my daughter is doing tremendously better. It is very hard to learn new coping skills, and she now pours her heart and soul into illustrations that capture the raw emotion that she feels.

For my role as Document Manager, I support the LifeSIGNS team and all the great work that we do!

As social media manager I coordinate the different LifeSIGNS channels, making sure we’re all communicating the same messages and in a way that can reach as many people as possible. Reaching people with our messages is the first step towards gaining a better understanding of self-injury and mental health.

Myself, I am still learning to understand. My brother struggles with self-injury and mental illness, when this first came to light I wanted to shake him and tell him to stop. I wanted to tell him that he’s amazing and that he doesn’t ‘need’ to do that. Over the years, I have learnt that it is not my place to tell him what he needs and what he doesn’t need, rather it is my place to tell him I’m here if he needs me.

LifeSIGNS work is incredibly important to both those struggling with self-injury and those struggling to support. Having a space where an individual can read, watch and listen to develop their own understanding of themselves or of others, away from harmful judgment and stigma is vital.

Faith

Faith {at} lifesigns.org.uk

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Group of people

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