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Self-Injury Awareness Day

March 1 is Self-Injury Awareness Day, an event meant to increase education and support for a misunderstood issue. Many people think of self-injury as “cutting,” however, it’s much more complex and varied. Self-injury can also include burning, scratching, punching, pulling out hair and even ingesting chemicals.

According to research from the Journal of American Board of Family Medicine, approximately 4% of Americans engage in self-harm. The majority are high school and college students. It can be complicated for loved ones to understand why someone would choose to harm themselves. Experts say it’s a coping response for people who are experiencing stress, anxiety, fear, loneliness or other complex emotions.

People who engage in self-injury behavior typically try to hide their injuries. They often cover telltale signs with clothing. If you or someone you know is struggling with self-harm you can contact the crisis line.

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