the user-led self-injury organisation.

  • UK
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Just thinking about Self-Injury Awareness Day

Hello hello, Wedge here. I’ve just got a few minutes to myself on a slow Sunday, and what with February fast approaching I got to thinking about Self-Injury Awareness Day (SIAD).

We’re very lucky that SIAD is so established; it’s the 1st of March every year without fail; no one can change that date, because no one ‘owns’ SIAD. Whoever started the ball rolling, ten or fifteen years ago, did us all a favour by creating a day that organisations and individuals can all come together for.

FirstSigns (previously known as LifeSIGNS) has supported Self-Injury Awareness Day ever since we started, back in in 2002. Other SI focused organisations come and go – certainly whatever American organisation that created SIAD is no longer around, but we do our best to continue our work day in day out, despite hardships. Yes, we struggles as an organisation and as people from time to time. Right now, we’re low on funds. As an unfunded, voluntary organisation we rely on the time our volunteers give us, and the cash donations are supporters give us.

We’ve been low on funds before; it feels pretty bad, but we work hard to keep things going. We don’t want our website or our Message Board to go under just because of a few quid.

So we hope our brand new wristbands and key rings will sell well in February, I’m time for Self-Injury Awarenss Day. During the months when we don’t sell wristbands, we get loads of emails asking us when we’ll have them back in stock again, so we know they’re popular. They just cost so much to manufacture, and while we try to sell them to you for just a couple of pounds, we make very little profit, so the investment needed to manufacture them is immense. And like I said, we’re often low on funds.

We should, of course, raise our prices, and charge a fair amount for postage. But the very people who we want to wear our wristbands don’t always have the money to splash out on ‘luxury’ items. We all come from different backgrounds, so I don’t want to pigeon hole or stereotype anyone, but not all younger people, or vulnerable people, have the money to splash around. And that’s why we always say that “every pound helps us” because we don’t just value the £5 donations, we value every £1 that you donate to us, and evert wristband you buy from us. I struggled with money when I was a teenager, and food and rent was way more important than clothing or going out, so I know that every pound matters when you’re dealing with a load of shit.

But we hope our wristbands and key rings help people feel part of something bigger; no one should be alone with self-injury. It’s a dreadful secret, and FirstSigns means to be there for anyone who feels they can’t yet talk about it. We understand, we’ve been there.

So I hope our wristbands and key rings sell well through February and March; they do a lot to raise awareness and a little cash.

As always, we’ll promote the subject of self-injury and the need to break the stigma, break the silence, with our posters and fact sheets. Our website will provide a quick link to everything you need to help raise awareness in your community, offline and online, and we’ll blog and tweet a load a stuff too :)

Take care of you; seek health and happiness every day.


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