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Wednesday 1st March is Self-Injury Awareness Day. Brighter Futures will be promoting Echo, a mutual support service available to anyone aged 18 or over, living in Stoke on Trent and North Staffordshire, who have experienced self-harm.
Self-harm is any deliberate, non-suicidal behaviour that inflicts physical injury to a person’s own body. Self-harm is not attention seeking, but a way of coping with or expressing intense emotional distress. Triggers to self-harm can include relationship difficulties with friends or family, abuse, problems at work and mental ill-health.
Echo offers people a chance to talk in confidence to other people who understand. Support is offered in different ways depending on the individual’s needs; this can include talking in a group environment or meeting one to one with a member of the support team.
Echo customer Katie says: “The workshops at Echo help me to open up and express myself, they also help me to listen to others and their experiences, and from it I know that I’m not on my own anymore.
“Echo has always been a place I can come and go to, that’s cosy and a safe environment. I’m lucky to be alive, and if Echo wasn’t here I don’t know what I’d do.”
Echo is a unique service set in a safe environment, offering support and understanding to members. The team will work with the individual, at their own pace, to help to develop new ways of coping with emotions and distress. Echo also offers health screening, complimentary therapy sessions and art workshops.
Judith Shaw, Echo coordinator, says: “Echo is a great service. Our workshops offer customers the opportunity to gain insight and knowledge, to become empowered and to move forward in positive ways.
“Customers are able to access life skills training through Echo, exploring topics such as attitudes, boundaries, change, respect and having an opinion.”
Echo operates throughout the week from a range of community venues across Stoke on Trent. Anyone who is concerned about their own or someone else’s self-harm can contact ECHO on 07500 444116 or the STAFFORDSHIRE MENTAL HEALTH HELPLINE on 0808 800 2234.
To find out more about ECHO and other services provided by Brighter Futures visit