Tag Archives: self harm prevention

The Boy Who Fell and the Man Who Picked Him Up Again

Illustrator and animator Hanne berkaak collaborated with the Norwegian leading professional organisation in psychological trauma, RVTS Sør, for an animation about self-harm. RVTS Sør work with those experiencing violence and traumas, migration health issues, and suicide prevention. Their primary goal is to ensure that those in need of support are met by conscious and competent professionals in all areas of the health services, with dignity and care.

This topic is really hard to tackle without creating something really obvious, or cringe-worthy, or untrue, or triggering. The list goes on! Hanne has managed to convey the struggles with self harm in an imaginative, relatable and warm way. As someone who is open about my own mental health and self harm addiction, Hanne has created something that I find incredibly relatable, totally appropriate and not like anything I’ve ever seen for this sort of topic. I also like the way in which the adult is portrayed – he is not hysterical or accusatory – which is how the adult confided in usually reacts (from my experience). Hanne portrays the teacher who clearly goes the extra mile for the boy, in a sensitive and calm way. Using muted colours contrasted with bold reds, she represents the physical cuts metaphorically without being distasteful or graphic.

Hanne said:

Doing research for the project, I found that children and teenagers often could remember that one person who did something out of the ordinary and made a huge difference. The film tries to encourage professional support workers to have the courage to meet traumatised children in a dignified way, not as clients, but as humans.

Hanne brought her emotional illustration to life with the help of lead animator My Eklund and producers from Mikrofilm.

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Instagram Suicide Prevention Tool

*TRIGGER WARNING*

Instagram chief operating officer Marne Levine spoke to Seventeen about introducing a new social media tool that allows users to ‘report’ suicidal or self-harm posts anonymously (which erases any concerns about people not knowing how to approach those who are contemplating suicide, including fears about saying the wrong thing and coming across as confrontational). Not only will the tool allow users to flag such posts, but the person who is posting suicidal messages to Instagram will be provided with support from the platform.

When I Googled this story, there were actual threads started by Instagram users reaching out to the Instagram staff asking what to do about suicidal posts. These red flags, along with the terrifying story of Professional Boxer Adrien Broner (who is now safe and alive) who posted a series of cryptic posts alluding to suicide, one with the caption: “3PM I’m doing it I’m sorry to my family and friends but I don’t want to be here no more this shit too much“, raised concerns for Instagram (who have teamed up with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and National Eating Disorders Association for this project).

We listen to mental health experts when they tell us that outreach from a loved one can make a real difference for those who may be in distress. At the same time, we understand friends and family often want to offer support but don’t know how best to reach out

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Not only does the tool allow Instagrammers to anonymously help others, users will also be redirected to that same support page if they search for a hashtag associated with self-injury. Numerous hashtags are already banned from Instagram already, so if these terms are searched, there will be no results found and support will be offered (see image above).

I love this whole idea from Instagram – the internet can be a scary place, and apps/websites have a responsibility to provide safe content and safe spaces for their users.

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