Self-injury Awareness Day (SIAD) (also known as Self-Harm Awareness Day) is a grassroots annual global awareness event/campaign on 01 March, where on this day, and in the weeks leading up to it and after, some people choose to be more open about their own self-harm, and awareness organisations make special efforts to raise awareness about self-harm and self-injury.
Some people wear an orange awareness ribbon, write “LOVE” on their arms, draw a butterfly on their wrists in awareness of “the Butterfly Project” wristband or beaded bracelet to encourage awareness of self-harm. The goal of the people who observe SIAD is to break down the common stereotypes surrounding self-harm and to educate medical professionals about the condition.
Depression and self-harm often go hand-in-hand, though there are many other reasons people self-harm. As many as two million Americans currently engage in self-harm, with methods like cutting, burning, scratching, bruising, and hitting themselves, along with other more harmful methods. It’s said that these behaviours promote feelings of control and help relieve tension, while helping the person express their emotions and escape the numbness that accompanies depression.
SIAD was created to spread awareness and understanding of self-injury, which is often misrepresented and misunderstood in the mainstream. Those who self-harm are often left feeling alone and afraid to reach out for help because they fear they will be seen as “crazy”.
Organisations involved in SIAD include:
- Sociedad Internacional de Autolesión.
- LifeSIGNS (Self-Injury Guidance & Network Support).
- Self-Injury Foundation.
- The Mix (a UK digital charity).
- Adolescent Self-Injury Foundation.
- Cars for hope.