I – arguably one of the most common words we use. And of course it’s an important word; we are all unique individuals and a sense of ‘self’ is essential. But it can also be a very lonely word.

I spent a great many years of my life thinking that I was the only person in the world who hurt themselves in order to cope with emotional distress. It wasn’t until I discovered LifeSIGNS almost a decade ago that I realised I wasn’t alone. I can’t describe how powerful and comforting it was to discover that I was no longer an I, but part of a we.

I’ve been a director of LifeSIGNS now for several years, and the power of ‘we’ has increased as I’ve learnt how an organisation of like-minded people can literally change, and in some cases even save, lives.

Many charities and organisations find it easier to become a ‘we’. There are common themes among humanity that tug at the heartstrings and create a mass response: neglected animals, starving children, terminal disease, world atrocities and disasters. These subjects are so emotive that people who aren’t even personally affected come together to raise money, awareness, and give support. And of course that’s amazing and wonderful.

But when it comes to mental health, and even more specifically to self-injury, there are far fewer people in the world who care. And even fewer who are prepared to speak out, or give up their time or money. The people who do so are usually people who are themselves affected in some way; and so ‘the power of we’ becomes even more important and valuable.

LifeSIGNS was founded by an individual, our very own Wedge, with the aim of bringing together people who self-injure; to reach out to people who felt alone with their self-injury and offer support and guidance. His intention was to create a ‘we’, and that’s exactly what LifeSIGNS has achieved over the last 10 years. We are an organisation that reaches across the globe, run by people affected by self-injury, for people affected by self-injury. We aren’t alone any more.


Now read Rachel’s post from earlier today.

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