Today is Self-Injury Awareness Day. SIAD is an annual, global event that was introduced about fifteen years ago. LifeSIGNS has supported SIAD for the past eleven years, and does more for SIAD than any other self-injury organisation.
SIAD is important because it’s the one day of the year when we can use this worldwide event to reach more people than at any other time. LifeSIGNS is dedicated to raising awareness about self-injury throughout the year. Through awareness we endeavour to educate and create understanding; to banish myths and remove stigma. We do this while concurrently guiding and supporting the people wo are directly affected by self-injury, and empowering people to make healthy changes in their lives.
Although we work hard all year, the lead-up to SIAD is our busiest time because more people take an interest. Our web hits go through the roof and we receive more emails and phone calls than at any other time of year. This intense focus is a result of SIAD, and it enables us to reach people who would never usually hear about, or take an interest in, self-injury.
For us, raising awareness is only the start. It means reaching out to people and literally making them aware of self-injury and what it means to rely on hurting one’s self as a way of coping with emotional distress. For the less informed people we reach, it can mean the difference between criticising and invalidating someone because they self-injure, and instead showing empathy and care. For the people who self-injure, awareness can create a feeling of not being alone, and open doors to help and support that they may not have known existed. LifeSIGNS’ mission is to change the world, but it all starts with raising awareness.
We’ve sent out hundreds and hundreds of wristbands over the last few weeks, and can’t thank people enough for their generous support. Buying a wristband shows a year-long commitment to raising awareness about self-injury, and to supporting us in our mission. We rely almost solely on the sale of wristbands in order to survive each year, so they’re incredibly important. A wristband isn’t just for SIAD, and we’ll continue selling them throughout the year for those of you who haven’t yet got one.
Also this year, we have our wonderful chalkboards. These are limited edition and hand-made. Self-expression is so important, and there’s something pleasing about writing in chalk and then rubbing it away afterwards. Failing that, they’re great for memos and shopping lists!
Although SIAD is a one-day event, we like to think of it as the start of something. So it’s not too late to do something to raise awareness about self-injury. Our fact sheets are available all year and you can download them for free. We think we have a fact sheet suitable for everyone, but if you can think of one that’s missing please let us know and we’ll get onto it.
For us. SIAD also sees the launch of our March Project. Usually we have Tell Someone Month, and we’re doing that again this year, but with a twist – so stay tuned for more information shortly.
Thank you again to everyone who has supported us in any way, and we wish you a successful SIAD. Please continue to send us images of your wristbands, and we’d love to hear what you’ve done for SIAD.